What was Brandon Phillips doing when J.C. Romero picked him off of second base last night?
Talking to Jimmy Rollins. About base-stealing. That's what the Phillies shortstop said today after he got a well-deserved day off in the Phillies' 10-4 win over the Reds.
There was one out in the 11th inning when J.C. Romero walked Joey Votto to move Phillips to second base. The Phillies' lefty was struggling to find the strike zone. With Votto on first and Phillips on second, Romero threw three straight balls to Reds third baseman Scott Rolen. The Reds were one pitch away from having the bases loaded and the go-ahead run on third base with one out.
Then came the inconceivable.
Phillips had his head turned toward short stop, completely oblivious to the mound. Romero whirled around, and by the time Phillips realized what was happening, Wilson Valdez was applying a tag for the out. Suddenly, there was a man on first and two out. Romero would walk Rolen and Jay Bruce before David Herndon replaced him and recorded the final out, stranding the bases loaded.
"We were talking about base-stealing," Rollins said.
He would not go into details. But he said he did not feel bad about the situation.
"I was embarassed for him," Rollins said. "But hey, it's an out for us."
That said, he did not purposefully set up Phillips, who has a history of not paying attention while on the base paths.
"I wish I could take credit for that," Rollins said. "But that was all Wilson."