For nearly four hours, the Cubs and Phillies hooked up in one of the better pitchers' duels of the 2009 season, with former Oakland A's teammates Rich Harden and Joe Blanton battling to a draw through seven innings each before giving way to a series of relievers who were even better. Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge, Chan Ho Park and Clay Condrey combined to throw six innings of no-run, no-hit baseball, with Park easily the most impressive in going three innings and striking out five. For the Cubs, Carlos Marmol, Angel Guzman, Sean Marshall, Aaron Heilman and Jeff Samardzija were nearly as good through five combined innings, holding the Phils to one hit and three walks.
The dam finally broke with two outs in the 13th inning. After Samardzija retired Shane Victorino and Chase Utley on flyouts, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez both drew walks to bring up Jayson Werth, who already had a single and three walks on the evening. After taking a strike and a ball, Werth blasted his first career walkoff home run out to left field, and the Phillies had their tenth straight win--the club's longest streak since 1991, when they won 13 in a row.
Werth's heroics shouldn't overshadow the fantastic pitching the Phils got all night, starting with Blanton's seven innings of five-hit, one-run work. Over his last ten starts (not counting the rainout in Florida last weekend), the big right-hander has dropped his ERA from 7.11 to 4.24 while going at least seven innings in seven of them.