Phillies vs. Reds: Further preview

Posted: October 06, 2010

GAME 1

CINCINNATI REDS at PHILLIES

Citizens Bank Park, 5:07 p.m.

TV: TBS. Radio: WPHT (1210), WUBA (1480), ESPN (950, 97.3-FM, 97.5-FM)

Weather: Mostly cloudy, low 60s/high 50s, wind under 10 mph

Game Line: Phillies -$210; Reds +$195; Over/Under: 7 runs.

Series Line: Phillies -$280; Reds +$240.

PITCHING MATCHUP

Reds RHP Edinson Volquez (4-3, 4.31) vs. Phillies RHP Roy Halladay (21-10, 2.44)

MARCUS HAYES' 3 KEYS TO GAME 1

1. Get on and score early. The Phils won five of seven from the Reds but needed extra innings four times (all wins) because they hit just .230 and scored 30 runs in seven games and, with a nine-run output in one game, they managed only 21 runs in the other six.

2. Hope Halladay keeps the edge. After the Reds roughed him up for a season-high 13 hits over eight innings June 30 in Cincinnati, Roy Halladay faced them again 10 days later and dealt a five-hit shutout. Halladay learns quickly; the Phillies need him to remember.

3. Neutralize Scott Rolen. Not surprisingly, the former Phillies star is hitting .333 against the club that acrimoniously traded him in 2002, his best average against any NL team. He's also hit .319 with 17 RBI in 17 games at the Bank.

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT ... Placido Polanco

Position: Third base

Height, weight: 5-10, 190

Age: 35. Birthdate: Oct. 10, 1975

Years pro: 13

Return to the Phold: Polanco returned to the Phillies in December when he signed a 3-year, $18 million deal. In 2005, Polanco began the season as the Phillies' second baseman until he was traded to Detroit for reliever Ugueth Urbina. He became one of the key players in a trip to the 2006 World Series, where the Tigers fell to St. Louis. During his first stint with the Phillies (2002-05), Polanco played a limited role at third base but was more than willing to go back to the hot corner for another chance to play for a playoff contender.

The trade: Polanco was traded in July 2002 to the Phillies with Bud Smith and Mike Timlin from the Cardinals for Scott Rolen, Doug Nickle and cash.

Taking the oath: Polanco became a U.S. citizen on July 9, 2008. Polanco is a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Playing with pain: Polanco has struggled with an injured left elbow since being hit by a pitch from Atlanta's Tim Hudson in April. Polanco has had four cortisone shots and is destined for surgery after the season. Despite the injury, he hit .298 with 52 RBI this year. In 587 plate appearances, he struck out just 47 times.

In the field: Polanco won Gold Gloves at second base in 2007 and 2009 with Detroit. In 1,598 career games, Polanco has played 444 at third base. His career fielding percentage is .990 and at third base it is .983.

In the postseason: This will be Polanco's seventh playoff series, his first with the Phillies. He has batted .296, and that includes an 0-for-17 in the 2006 World Series against the Cardinals.

- Michael Radano

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WHO'S HOT

PHILLIES: Chase Utley. The second baseman went 15-for-50 (.300) with a .397 on-base percentage and an OPS of .797 over the final 13 games.

REDS: Jay Bruce. Over the last 15 games, the 23-year-old outfielder hit .349 with five home runs. The 2005 first-round pick gives the Reds a potent bat from the left side against righthanded starters Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt.

WHO'S NOT

PHILLIES: Danys Baez. In his last 15 appearances, Baez allowed 12 runs in 14 1/3 innings of work. That might be why he was left off the roster for the Reds series. Baez has made just three postseason appearances in his career, all with the Indians in 2001.

REDS: Scott Rolen. The former Phillies third baseman has gone just 3-for-37 in his last 12 games. Rolen has hit just .228 in 32 postseason games with the Cardinals.

In five seasons, Carlos Ruiz has a career on-base percentage of .353 with a .749 OPS. Over that same period in 32 postseason games he has an on-base percentage of .420 with a .905 OPS.

- Michael Radano

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