Six hours and twelve minutes. Eleven billion pitches. The Phillies and the Reds battled into the early morning hours in the series'
finale penultimate game before the Phillies won in 19 innings, 5-4. There were two incredibly unusual stories of the game:
- First: Wilson Valdez was the winning pitcher in a riveting and hilarious game of bullpen limbo played by Charlie Manuel and Reds manager Dusty Baker. Valdez is the first position player to get a win in the major leagues since 2000, and the first non-pitcher to appear on the mound for the Phillies since Tomas Perez did in 2002.
- Second: Danys Baez threw five scoreless innings to get to this ridiculous point, the longest outing of his career. The bullpen was generally fantastic, but for a wild outing by J.C. Romero, who wound up throwing fewer strikes (4) than Valdez (5) (h/t philsandthrills), and walked all three batters he faced. Yecch. But wait, there was more:
- Raul Ibanez punctuated a night of groundballing with a sacrifice fly off of a clearly exhausted Carlos Fisher to win the game. Sometime last year, Ben Francisco gave the Phillies an early 2-0 lead with a home run off Reds starter Travis Wood. The Phillies would stretch the lead to 3-0, but starter Roy Halladay (it's hard to believe at this point that Halladay was even involved in this game, but whatevs) couldn't hang on, and Jay Bruce hurt him with a 2-run single in the seventh to tie the game, 3-3.
- Ryan Howard added drama in the bottom of the 10th by homering to the bullpen steps in center, after the Reds took a 4-3 lead on a Jay Bruce (geez o man) home run off of Antonio Bastardo, What else did you notice or love? Chooch playing third? The comments floor is yours. Enthuse below.
zOMG CLIFF LEE <3 HIM!!! vs. Homer Bailey later today. The game's probably on already by the time you read this.