Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wilson Valdez (!!) is the winning pitcher in Phillies 19-inning marathon game

That was just how they planned it. After using every available pitcher, the Phillies were forced to turn to Wilson Valdez in the 19th inning and he didn't disappoint, getting three Reds batters to pop out, including 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto. In the bottom of the 19th, the Phils finally plated a run on a Raul Ibanez sac fly and won the game, 5-4, and gave Valdez a win in his first pitching experience.

Valdez actually wasn't terrible, throwing nearly 90 miles an hour as he needed just 10 pitches to get out of the inning. While he was certainly lucky that the Reds didn't get a hold of any of his pitches in their pop-outs, Valdez did a commendable job for someone who probably won't pitch another inning in his career.

As with any 19 inning game, there were plenty of other quirky moments, including Carlos Ruiz playing third base, Danys Baez going 5 innings without giving up a run and Domonic Brown getting 5 plate appearances despite not entering the game until the 9th inning. Phillies fans at the ballpark also deserve a ton of credit for staying late into the night and making plenty of noise in the final innings; you truly had to be a dedicated fan to sit through what amounted to more than 2 full baseball games with very little scoring.

And, hey, the Phillies have another game in just a few short hours! Hopefully Cliff Lee can pitch a complete game and save the bullpen from having to over-extend.

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