Brandon Phillips launches two-run homer as Reds strike first in NLDS Game 1 vs. Giants

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The Reds lost their ace in the bottom of the first inning to a back injury, but they have an early lead in this NLDS Game 1 at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

Drew Stubbs hit a leadoff single in the top of the third inning, then Brandon Phillips waited on a hanging curveball from Giants starter Matt Cain and deposited it with authority into the first row of the left-center field stands, pushing Cincinnati ahead 2-0.

Cain was on a run of 23 2/3 straight scoreless postseason innings before giving up the two-run blast.

Mat Latos will enter in the bottom of the third for Sam LeCure, who took over when Johnny Cueto went down after just eight pitches. Latos was scheduled to start Game 3, so changes will need to be made.

The Rays announce “The Rays Tank.” Really.

Tampa Bay Rays
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Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.

If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.

In other news, the Rays announced a new blog:

Oh.