Rain suspends Phillies-Reds snoozefest until Wednesday

ANDY LYONS / GETTY IMAGES Charlie Manuel watches action before rain forced suspension of scoreless game in ninth.
ANDY LYONS / GETTY IMAGES Charlie Manuel watches action before rain forced suspension of scoreless game in ninth.
Posted: April 18, 2013

CINCINNATI - The first pitch at Great American Ball Park was delivered by Homer Bailey at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

It came 1 hour, 20 minutes after originally scheduled, following a rain delay when the tarp was pulled off and then placed back on the field.

The process was about as exciting and tiresome as being asked to sit through the first six innings of watching the Phillies' offense at work.

Except on Tuesday, the offense gave their fans an added bonus: three more innings of flyouts, groundouts and strikeouts.

Kyle Kendrick pitched masterfully, but his teammates apparently left their lumber in Philadelphia when they left for the current six-game road trip 6 days ago. The only thing that prevented the Phillies from defeat was Mother Nature.

Two hours, 10 minutes after the delayed game began, a heavy rain forced another stoppage in play and, 44 minutes later, the game was official suspended until 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Phils and Reds were scoreless through 8 1/2 innings.

"Both of the guys pitched good tonight," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "But at the same time, we haven't hit on this road trip. Right now, we're hanging on a zero. We'll see if we can't bust that tomorrow."

The Phils will play their originally scheduled game at 7:10 p.m. . . . unless the scoreless tie decides to venture into extra innings. When play resumes at 5:30 p.m., Phillippe Aumont will face the middle of the Reds' lineup in the bottom of the ninth.

It's the first suspended game for the Phillies since Game 5 of the 2008 World Series.

"That's a good sign," said general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., referring to the game that clinched the second World Series championship in franchise history after rain delayed the series for nearly 48 hours.

The Phils can only hope their bats will return on Wednesday. During the first five games of the road trip, they have scored eight runs.

But the Phils haven't scored a run before the sixth inning in a week, since scoring five times in the first inning at Citizens Bank Park against the New York Mets a week ago Wednesday.

Even before the latest offensive snoozefest, Manuel already was sick of sitting through nearly a week's worth of weak offensive efforts.

"When we're sitting there, we've gone four or five games and through four or five innings we don't have any runs . . . we can start, any time they want to we can hit the ball and start scoring some runs," Manuel said 4 1/2 hours before first pitch. "I mean, yeah. I'm not panicking or nothing, but if we're going to win games, we have to play."

Kendrick did his part on Tuesday.

After giving up five runs in his 2013 debut, Kendrick allowed two runs in six innings of a gutsy win over the Mets a week ago. He was also buoyed by a five-run explosion in the game's first inning, thanks to home runs from Chase Utley and Domonic Brown.

Six days later, Kendrick had no such luck in getting early - or any - help from his teammates. But he continued his own upward path, improving for the second straight start.

Kendrick held the Reds to two singles in seven shutout innings. He struck out four and walked two.

Kendrick never allowed a runner to reach third base and retired the final eight batters he faced (and 14 of the final 15).

But Bailey was better. He allowed two hits in eight shutout innings, striking out 10 without walking a batter.

Bailey did what Ricky Nolasco, Jose Fernandez, Kevin Slowey and Bronson Arroyo - not exactly the Matt Cains and Clayton Kershaws of the National League - did before him. He tamed the Phils' bats early and often, sucking any energy out of the visiting team.

After nine innings on Tuesday, three of the four runs the Phillies scored since Saturday came on only two swings: pinch-hit home runs by Laynce Nix and Chase Utley.

The Phils didn't score a run in any of their first five innings on Sunday and they didn't score until the eighth inning on Monday. On Tuesday, they didn't score at all.

After Bailey blanked his team for eight, Manuel decided to send up two fresh hitters against Cincinnati closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth. The results, however, weren't fresh.

Erik Kratz led off the ninth striking out swinging and John Mayberry Jr. was robbed of a base hit by Cincinnati third baseman Todd Frazier. Ben Revere completed Chapman's perfect inning by ringing up the Phillies' strikeout total to an even dozen.

And then the rain returned and the Phillies' offense was given a reprieve and a chance to regroup on Wednesday.

"I saw Mayberry hit a rocket to third and I saw Brown just miss hitting a 3-0 pitch out of the yard," Manuel said when asked whether he saw signs of life. "That didn't get it done, did it?"


On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

Blog: ph.ly/HighCheese

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