I can’t believe it. Dusty Baker has finally called out Brandon Phillips on the continual loafing. First, let’s let Mark Sheldon set the stage:
Phillips was caught not hustling again on what he expected to be a routine fly out in the first inning. The ball was lost in the sky by right fielder Andre Ethier. Because he wasn’t running hard out of the batters’ box, Phillips missed a chance for a RBI double that would have put him on second with no outs and a 3-0 Reds lead.
“I was just happy I finally did something with runners in scoring position,” Phillips explained. “I hit a fly ball to get the run and I was satisfied with that. I hit the ball in the outfield and was ‘I missed it.’ I put my head down. I didn’t know he missed it until I looked back up. I could have done worse and not get the run in at all.”
Moments later, Phillips admitted his mistake.
“I messed up,” he said. “That’s my second time not hustling this year. It won’t happen again.”
Second, tenth, who’s counting?
Baker was furious with his second baseman.
“We should have gotten some more in that first inning, big time,” Baker fumed. “You have to hustle on that ball there or it’s a totally different inning. That was a rally killer for us.
“We’ve repeated it many, many times. You have to play hard all the time. That was big, real big. We had them on the ropes and we killed the rally.”…
“We’ve all talked to him until we’re blue in the face,” Baker said. “Evidently, this must have started long before I got here.”
Wow. Strong language. (And to give Baker credit, he also criticized Phillips earlier in the season when BP ignored a sign; so this isn’t the first time.)
A couple of us mentioned in the game thread that, while happy about the three-run first inning, it just felt like we should have had more. That rally was definitely stopped in it’s tracks by Phillips’s bonehead play. John Fay says it’s a case of Brandon being Brandon. Heh.