CINCINNATI - The Reds will find out early Sunday if shortstop Orlando Cabrera can play in Game 3 of the National League division series against the Phillies at Great American Ball Park. Cabrera aggravated an oblique injury in Friday night's game, a 7-4 Phillies win that gave them a two-games-to-none lead.
"I have to be optimistic," Cabrera said. "I just felt like a bottle exploding in there. I don't want to put the team's future in jeopardy in a game like that."
If Cabrera sits, Paul Janish would take his place. Janish started 27 consecutive games in place of Cabrera in August and September after Cabrera originally suffered the injury.
Middle of (dis)order
The middle of the Reds' batting order is hitting just 2 for 24 (.083) in the first two games, including cleanup hitter and third baseman Scott Rolen going hitless in seven at-bats with five strikeouts.
NL MVP candidate Joey Votto has one hit in six at-bats with one RBI in the No. 3 spot, while Jay Bruce has one solo home run, albeit into the upper deck in right field at Citizens Bank Park, and two walks to his credit in five at-bats.
Laynce Nix, Jonny Gomes, and Ramon Hernandez are 0 for 6 splitting time in the fifth spot.
Bruce said he didn't believe Phillies second baseman Chase Utley was hit by a pitch from Aroldis Chapman in the seventh inning of Game 2, or that Utley was safe at second on a close play, or that Utley touched third base on Bruce's ill-fated losing of the ball in the lights.
"One of the biggest things in baseball is the element of human error," Bruce said. "I think to some extent that's part of the game that should always be there. It's all umpires' discretion, and when it comes to instant replay I think there are some things that can be replayed but there are some things that are almost like beating a dead horse."