Now Commenting On:

{"content":["injury" ] }

Reds hope Phillips' walk-off hit ends recent funk

Reds hope Phillips' walk-off hit ends recent funk


CINCINNATI -- It's not hard to trace the origin of Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips' recent hitting funk. Phillips hasn't been the same since June 1, when he was plunked on the left forearm by Pirates reliever Tony Watson.

Now Cincinnati hopes they can pinpoint the end of it: Phillips' walk-off single up the middle in Wednesday's 2-1, 13-inning win against the Pirates.

"I haven't been myself lately," Phillips said after the win. "To come through like that, I was due. It felt good just to hit the ball up the middle and come through for the team. It was a team effort. We stayed in the game and we really wanted this win."

The bruised left forearm suffered from a Watson fastball put Phillips out of action for four games. In the 13 games since he returned to the lineup, he is batting .179 (10-for-56) and is 3-for-26 on the homestand. Though he hit the winner in the 13th inning Wednesday, he went 1-for-5 with a walk, a strikeout and three left on base.

There is still a noticeable welt on Phillips' forearm, but he refused to make excuses.

"If I'm on the field, I have to do my job," Phillips said before the game. "I'll be all right. I will be back to normal. Ever since I got hit, I haven't been doing [anything.] It stinks though. I'll find a way to get it going."

In Tuesday's 4-0 loss to Pittsburgh, Phillips was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

"I'm not going to blame it on my arm," Phillips said. "I'm going to blame it on my performance. I'm swinging at bad pitches. I'm getting myself out."

Phillips is batting .270 with 10 home runs, and his 58 RBIs are tied for second-most in the National League. On Wednesday afternoon, he talked briefly with Dusty Baker in the manager's office.

"He's just trying too hard more than anything," Baker said. "He's swinging at bad pitches. Nobody is going to hit swinging at bad pitches. Even though [Jay] Bruce is hot behind him, they're still not giving [Phillips] a lot to hit. He's got to be more selective.

"He'll get better. He's trying to make up for lost time. You can't make up for lost time."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["injury" ] }
{"content":["injury" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español