Brandon Phillips goes off on Cincinnati Enquirer baseball writer C. Trent Rosecrans

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Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips apparently took issue with something written recently by the stat-minded C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer and went off on Rosecrans in the visitor manager’s office Wednesday evening at Busch Stadium with manager Dusty Baker looking on.

ESPN 101, a St. Louis-based radio station, just posted audio of the heated altercation online:

Here is our attempt at transcribing that exchange (with the requisite edits) …

Phillips: “Hey Dusty, the fat motherf***er on the end is worried about my on-base percentage. Why don’t you tell him to have me bat eighth with my on-base percentage.”

Rosecrans: “I don’t care about …”

Phillips: “Fat motherf***er. Make him happy, Dusty. Fat motherf***er. I’m tired of you talking that negative sh*t on our team, dog. I found out your Twitter name now motherf***er. It’s a wrap.”

Rosecrans: “Wow, took you how many years? Congratulations.”

Baker: “I ain’t in that, man. That’s between you and him.”

Rosecrans: “That’s between him and him.”

Baker: “OK, even better.”

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UPDATE, 9:45 PM ET: The Cincinnati Enquirer has issued a response about the incident:

There was a situation that arose this evening prior to the Reds and Cardinals game involving our reporter C. Trent Rosecrans and Brandon Phillips.

Phillips took exception to our analysis concerning his on-base percentage and a follow-up tweet after being moved into the second spot in the lineup. It is a fair subject to consider, and one our readers would expect us to address.

While we are disappointed in Phillips’ reaction, we understand it is a pennant race and emotions are high during a crucial series with a heated rival. This isn’t the first time a player has lost his temper in response to a reporters questions and it won’t be the last. It is part of covering the team day-in day-out.

This will not affect our coverage of the team or Phillips. We plan on moving on from this and we hope Phillips does too.

 

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).