CINCINNATI -- Talk to left-hander Cole Hamels and he will tell you that Shane Victorino's running catch in the first inning was a huge part of the Phillies beating the Reds, 2-0, in Game 3 of the National League Division Series on Sunday night.
The victory advanced Philadelphia to the NL Championship Series, where they will face either the Braves or the Giants, who hold a 2-1 series lead.
With a runner on first and no outs, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips hit a ball that appeared to be a double in the gap to score Drew Stubbs, but Victorino made a great running catch in left-center for the first out of the inning. To Hamels, the catch was a momentum changer, and it was smooth sailing after that.
"That was a good catch. That's why Shane is in center field," Hamels said. "I saw it and I was like, 'OK, that was probably one of the best catches.'"
Victorino said the catch wasn't any different to other catches he has made in the past. He really wanted to talk about Hamels' shutout.
"I knew it was a tough play. I knew I had to go get it," Victorino said. "I just wanted to make the play. I was able to make the play and run the ball down. Cole pitched a great game. I'm not going to take anything away from Cole."
Right fielder Jayson Werth couldn't help but think what could have happened if Victorino didn't make that catch.
"It was part of the game where they could have had something going," Werth said.
"We stopped them right there. They couldn't get anything going after that."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.