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Phillies might have a problem at hot corner

Relying on Polanco at third bad move.

Kevin Frandsen hurt the Phillies not once but twice with plays he didn't make at third base during Sunday's devastating loss to the Braves. The Triple-A call-up, who has been a dynamo at the plate since arriving in late July, let a potential game-ending grounder play him, which led to Chipper Jones' dramatic walk off homer.

Earlier in the game, Frandsen's errant throw to first with two outs taxed Cole Hamels arm. But don't blame Frandsen.

"It's not his fault," a NL scout said. "The Phillies need a third baseman. They gambled that [Placido] Polanco would be able to be able to come back and make an impact this year."

The aging, oft-injured Polanco has been a bust this season.

"The Phillies didn't get proper insurance," the NL scout said. "You need someone to be able to play the position. You win with strong defense."

It's hard to argue since Pedro Feliz played third for the 2008 World Series winners and 2009 NL champion Phillies. Feliz didn't offer a great deal with his bat, but he was a very good defensive third baseman, making a number of big plays and all the small ones.

So if it's best for a natural third baseman to play the position, what about Chase Utley? The longtime second baseman has been fielding ground balls in batting practice at the hot corner.

"That's a lot to ask of a guy, who hasn't played the position, who has health issues," the NL scout said. "It would be a good idea for the Phillies to get a guy who has played third base next season since you know they're going to go for it all next year."

Phils 6, Reds 2

Roy Halladay is looking like his old self again. Yesterday, he held the Reds to one run on eight hits in 7 1/3 innings. It was the sixth time in his last seven starts he has lasted seven frames.

The Phils (66-71) are still alive for that final wild-card spot, trailing (entering play last night) by eight games.

Surprise star Erik Kratz continued his torried hitting, stroking a three-run homer in the second. Prior to that, Dom Brown hit a solo shot.

 
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