The Phillies won a war of attrition in the form of a baseball game Friday night, barely outlasting the always-resilient Marlins in 12 innings. It shouldn't have been this hard: through five and a half, Cole Hamels was cruising with a 4-1 lead, holding Florida off the board after a leadoff home run by rookie outfielder Chris Coghlan. Chase Utley had hit a two-run homer in the top of the first, and the Phils added two more on run-scoring hits by Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz in the fourth, all against Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco. Hamels had allowed four hits and a walk and struck out five, needing just 68 pitches to that point, and might have made a run at his second complete game of the season.
But a rain delay of more than an hour ended the evening for both pitchers, and the Marlins rallied with one seventh-inning run off Chan Ho Park and two in the eighth off Ryan Madson, J.C. Romero, and Chad Durbin. Ex-Phillies Ronny Paulino and Wes Helms--the latter so sick that he'd reportedly been throwing up in the clubhouse (which, of course, double-guaranteed that he'd do something big in the game)--delivered the big hits before Durbin escaped a bases-loaded jam by striking out Coghlan. After the Phillies were unable to capitalize on a first-and-third, one-out threat in the top of the ninth, Durbin then put the first two hitters on in the Marlins' ninth before escaping with a deep flyout, a strikeout, and a groundout.
Both managers emptied their benches and bullpens, with Charlie Manuel turning to Scott Eyre for the 10th and Clay Condrey, just off the DL, for the 11th. Finally, the Phils broke through in the top of the 12th against Burke Badenhop, the sixth Marlins pitcher of the night: Jimmy Rollins singled, went to second on a Shane Victorino sacrifice, and scored on a Chase Utley single. Later in the inning, Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez made one of the less well-considered moves you'll ever see, intentionally walking Paul Bako to get to Jayson Werth Properly motivated, the all-star delivered his second RBI single of the night to score Utley and put the Phillies ahead 6-4.
Then it was Brad Lidge time. After retiring Cody Ross on a flyout, Lidge walked Paulino, walked Jeremy Hermida... and fell behind 3-0 to Chris Volstad, the pitcher who was pinch-hitting for Badenhop with the Florida bench emptied. He came back to run the count full, then threw what looked like ball four--which Volstad bunted for a sacrifice to put both men in scoring position with two out. Dan Uggla came up next, and after getting strike one, Lidge misfired on a slider that bounced away from Carlos Ruiz. Paulino scored, and Hermida advanced to third. Finally, Uggla grounded to Utley and the Phils had an unlovely but well earned win to go up six games on the Marlins and Braves.