Phils fall quickly after suspended game resumes
It takes only nine minutes for Aumont to give up walk-off single in ninth
CINCINNATI -- That did not take long.
The Phillies needed just nine minutes to lose to the Reds on Wednesday evening at Great American Park, 1-0. The game had been suspended before the bottom of the ninth inning shortly before midnight Tuesday because of a hard rain. But after play resumed nearly 18 hours later, Phillies right-hander Phillippe Aumont faced just four batters as the Reds quickly scored the winning run.
"It's definitely frustrating to go out there and have it happen so quick," Aumont said. "Game's over. You're in already. Now we go to the second game and it's nine innings of me thinking about what I did wrong and how I could have went about it in a different way. But that's just how the game is. I'll be fine. I'll survive. I won't lose any sleep tonight. I'll come back and work harder."
Aumont got Zack Cozart down in the count, 0-2, before Cozart worked his way back to single to right field on a 3-2 pitch. Aumont then walked Joey Votto before Brandon Phillips hit a fly ball to left-center field. The normally sure-handed Ben Revere tracked the ball, but lost it in the sun. The ball deflected off his glove to load the bases with nobody out.
The miscue snapped Revere's streak of 173 consecutive games without an error. He had not committed one since Aug. 15, 2011, at Detroit.
"As soon as the ball went up, the closer and closer you got to that ball, you got closer to the sun," Revere said. "That's baseball for you. ... It ticks me off it had to go down like that. ... If the sun's not there, I make that catch."
Jay Bruce hit the next pitch from Aumont to right field for a single to score Cozart and end the game.
It was a strange scene for everybody Wednesday, including Aumont. There were only a few hundred fans in the stands without the regular atmosphere normally associated with a scoreless game in the bottom of the ninth inning.
It almost felt like a Grapefruit League game, only in a much bigger park.
"Obviously, it's a Spring Training game -- no man's land," Aumont said of the ballpark atmosphere. "Obviously, there is no intensity. As a pitcher, you have to find a way to fire yourself up. I was feeling good in the bullpen. It was good. The walk killed me. That's more frustrating than anything else. I could give up 100 hits and I wouldn't care. A walk kills me. I know I can get those guys out at any time."
It was the first time the Phillies had played a suspended game since Game 5 of the 2008 World Series.
Aumont will take the hit for the loss, but the offense continues to hurt the team's chances to win. The Phillies have become utterly allergic to scoring runs on this road trip. They have not scored a run before the sixth inning since April 10, when they scored five runs in the first inning against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. The feeble offense wasted fine pitching performances from Cole Hamels on Saturday, Cliff Lee on Monday and Kyle Kendrick on Tuesday.
They picked up just two hits in the first eight innings Tuesday against Reds right-hander Homer Bailey: Michael Young's infield single in the second and Chase Utley's single to right in the fourth.
"Any time they want to, we can start hitting the ball and scoring some runs," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Tuesday. "We've gone like four or five games, and you look up there and four or five innings -- we don't have runs. I'm not panicking, but if we're going to win games, we've got to play. The bottom line is we've got to put our game together."
The only reason the Phillies have won two games on this trip is because the starting pitching has saved them.
Imagine if Phillies starters had struggled?
"I'd rather go through this earlier than later," Revere said about the punchless offense. "We're going to get all this stuff solved out and be rolling real soon."