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Posts Tagged ‘Shane Victorino.’

B.J. Upton chooses Atlanta over Philadelphia

 

The Atlanta Braves have landed one of the top free agents of the 2012 off-season.

On Wednesday, they reached an agreement with former Tampa Bay Rays center fielder B.J. Upton to a fiver-year, $75.25 million contract.

Upton, who’s brother Justin plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks, was the second overall pick in the 2002 draft. He made his debut with the Rays at age 19 and spent six full seasons with the team.

B.J. Upton (photo by Keith Allison via wikipedia commons)

B.J. and Justin are the only two brothers in MLB history to be selected in the number one and two slot of the draft (in separate years). The Upton brothers are also the first brothers to make it into the 20-20 club (both have hit 20 home runs and have 20 stolen bases in a season).

The 28-year-old Upton, replaces Michael Bourn, another free agent. He gives the Braves with top-line defense and a much-needed right-handed bat in a lefty dominated lineup.

He batted .246 with a career-low .298 on-base percentage in 2012, but clubbed 28 home runs with 78 RBI’s and 31 stolen bases in 37 attempts.

Upton chose the Braves over NL East rival Philadelphia, whose needed a CF to replace Shane Victorino to the Dodgers last season. Victorino is also a free-agent this off-season.

NL DIVISION SERIES: Veteran Phillies close out Reds, 2-0; move to NLCS vs. Giants

MEGASPORTSNEWS.COM GAME COVERAGE

CINCINNATI, OHIO –

(megasportsnews.com)

The young Cincinnati Reds  team, got a lesson in playoff baseball. It’s pitching, defense and clutch hitting.

The Reds pitching was good enough to win Games 2 & 3, but all components have to work in the playoffs.

The Philadelphia Phillies eliminated the Reds, 3 games to 0.

A pitcher the Reds never beat, lefty Cole Hamels, pitched a complete game shutout, with 9 strikeouts, allowing five hits.

Great American Ball Park hosting its first playoff game ever, set a record for attendance, 44,599.

Cincinnati really had just one chance to score in the game against Hamels. Drew Stubbs led off the first inning with an infield single, and Brandon Phillips came up next and hit a line drive to left-centerfield. Speedy center fielder Shane Victorino ran the ball down in the gap. If he misses that ball, it’s at least a triple or even an inside-the-park home run with Phillips’ speed.

Media interview room backdrop (megasportsnews.com)

The Phillies scored in the first inning against Reds starter Johnny Cueto, who was victimized by shoddy defense. With one out, Placido Polanco singled to center, Ryan Howard singled to left and with two down Jayson Werth hit an easy third-out grounder to shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who threw high to first base, pulling Joey Votto off the bag scoring Polanco to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.

Two topics of conversation was brought up in the pressbox at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati after that play. One, the Reds were in trouble because they have trouble scoring against Cole Hamels all the time and second of all, why was Orlando Cabrera playing shortstop with a right oblique problem. Backup shortstop Paul Janish was in the starting lineup on the game sheets but somehow Cabrera talked himself into the lineup. Bad choice.

Reds banner outside stadium (megasportsnews.com)

The final run came in the top of the fifth inning when Phillies second baseman Chase Utley homered to right-center field into the first row of seats to make it 2-0. The play was reviewed by the umpires because a fan had reached out and caught the ball as Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs was making a play on the ball. The umpires deemed it a homer and not a ground rule double. The delay lasted for 1 minute, 13 seconds.

That was Utley’s 10th playoff series home run of all-time, which moves him past Jayson Werth for first on the Phillies list.

The Reds were making their first playoff appearance in 15 years and finished the regular season as the National League’s Number 1 offense and Number 2 defensive team. During the playoffs, they committed 8 errors, 6 in the last two games which simply killed them.

The National League Central Division, which the Reds were the champions of in 2010, has not done well in the playoffs losing 15 of their last 16 games.

The Philadelphia Phillies will be seeking their third straight NL Pennant when they face the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series.

GAME NOTES:

* The Phillies are 10-2 all-time in clinching games (games in which the series ends with a Phillies win). The Phillies have won their last 6.

* Philadelphia is 4-0 on the road in the postseason when Cole Hamels pitches (4-3 at home).

* Cole Hamels joins Roy Halladay and Curt Schilling as the only 3 pitchers to throw a shutout in the Phillies postseason history.

* This was the first ever postseason series sweep in Phillies franchise history.

* In Cincinnati Reds postseason history, they have been swept 4 times, 1939 World Series vs. the Yankees; 1979 NLCS vs. the Pirates; 1995 NLCS vs. the Braves and now the 2010 NLDS vs. the Phillies.

POSTGAME AUDIO FROM CINCINNATI REDS CLUBHOUSE (To listen to an audio file, click on the link)

45 718 to 45 722 Drew Stubbs Reds RF On the Phillies being tough (WPKO WBLL )

45 730 TO 45 732 Walt Jocketty Reds GM On Reds played hard (WPKO WBLL)

Reds lose 4-3 in 12 innings to Philadelphia

compiled from staff and wire reports

Philadelphia Phillies catcher Brian Schneider hit a game-ending homer in the 12th inning Thursday night, leading the defending National League champions to a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds in Citizens Bank Park.

Phillies reliever Nelson Figueroa (2-1) pitched two perfect innings to earn the win.

Prior to the loss, the Reds had won a franchise-best nine straight extra-inning road games dating back to June of 2009.

Shane Victorino also had a solo homer for the struggling and injured Phillies, who had lost seven of 10. They overcame another blown save by Brad Lidge to win the game.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto hit his league-leading 22nd homer, hours after he was named to the National League All-Star team. He’ll join teammates, Brandon Phillips, Arthur Rhodes and Scott Rolen in representing the Reds.

Brian Schneider (nba)

When dealing with the 2010 Cincinnati Reds, opponents know the game is never over until the 27th and final out of the game. With two outs in the ninth, the Reds were trailing 3-2. Joey Votto singled to start the inning, and Scott Rolen walked. After Jay Bruce grounded into a double play, Miguel Cairo hit an liner to left-center field for an RBI double off of Phillies closer Brad Lidge, who has blown 3 of his 5 save opportunities.

GAME NOTES

* Reds first baseman Joey Votto on Thursday was chosen by the fans for the final National League roster spot in next Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Anaheim, California. He received 13.7 million votes after getting help from the Reds, fans from around the National League and his hometown team, the Toronto Blue Jays.

Joey Votto (mlb)

Nick Swisher, Ohio State alumnus and outfielder of the New York Yankees, won the American League honor with 9.8 million votes.

Votto thanked all the fans for their help and to his teammates who wore Vote Votto T-Shirts for batting practice while in New York and Philadelphia to aid his cause.

Votto beat out Washington Nationals 3b Ryan Zimmerman, Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez and Atlanta’s Billy Wagner for the 34th spot on the National League roster. It’ll be his first All-Star Game.

Votto currently leads the National League in homers (22), on-base percentage (.417) and slugging percentage (.588).