Four errors, three hit batsmen, two innings where the seams came off the baseball, and one massive implosion.

That pretty much sums up the Cincinnati Reds’ performance in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Reds lost to the Phillies 7-4 and now are on the brink of elimination.

This was a game of two halves.

Before the Reds’ implosion, they actually led 4-0 in this game. They got a leadoff HR by Brandon Phillips, they capitalized on two Chase Utley errors in the second, and then got a rocket shot off of the bat of Jay Bruce to give the Reds a 3-0 lead.

Bronson Arroyo on the mound was mixing up his pitches and keeping Philly batters really off balance. I thought Arroyo was pretty good. Did he get lucky on occasion like when Jimmy Rollins ripped a one-hop line drive to Phillips, which turned into a double play? Sure, but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

Everything seemed to be going their way. Then the fifth inning happened.

With two outs and a runner on first, Shane Victorino hit a groundball into hole between first and second and for some odd reason, Phillips tried to smother the ball. I am not sure what he was thinking there. The ball bounced off his chest and Victorino reached.

The very next batter, Placido Polanco hit a sharp groundball to Scott Rolen, which he proceeded to boot as well. Back to back errors and the Phillies were set up with the bases loaded for Utley. If you give the Phillies extra outs, they are going to make you pay and that’s exactly what they did.

Utley ripped a single to right and the Phillies cut the deficit in half to 4-2.

If Reds fans thought that was bad, then the seventh inning was a nightmare.

After the Phillies tacked on another run in the sixth thanks to Red pitchers hitting two batters and walking two batters in the inning, Dusty Baker went to Aroldis Chapman to hold the lead. Yeah, that didn’t quite happen.

Chapman hit Utley to lead off the inning. In Chapman’s defense, it didn’t appear Utley actually got hit. Derek Jeter was vilified for faking getting hit a couple of weeks ago. I wonder if their will be the national outcry over Utley’s acting job? I am guessing no.

After striking out Ryan Howard (Howard had no chance), Jayson Werth hit a slow roller up a long third, which Rolen proceeded to throw to second. Utley was called safe and the whole dynamic of the inning changed.

Why Rolen decided to throw to second is beyond me. All his momentum was headed towards first. To try to throw across your body to nail a fast runner at second is very hard to do. Rolen would have easily gotten Werth at first.

If the dynamic of the game changed on the Rolen play, the dynamic of the series changed on the next AB.

Rollins hit a little flare to right and Bruce lost the ball in the lights. Utley scored and when Phillips dropped the relay throw, Werth scored, the Phillies took a 5-4 lead and never looked back.

Game. Set. Match.

There are some games where teams get beat and there are games where teams lose. The Reds got beat by Roy Halladay on Wednesday night. On Friday night, the Reds lost.

This loss was a disaster and really showed why the Reds are about two years away from really contending for a World Series. World Series contenders don’t lose games like that. They win games like that.

One thing lost in this game was how mediocre Roy Oswalt was for the Phillies. He really didn’t have much tonight. His fastball was flat and he couldn’t get his change or curve over for strikes.

I am sure he will be better the next time out, but he really wasn’t good in Game 2.

The Reds will be game playing in front of their home crowd for Game 3 on Sunday night, but the Phillies will find a way to pull it out in the end. World Series contenders usually do.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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