2B Wilson Valdez pitches to Jay Bruce in the 19th inning of the Phils 5-4 win over Cincy. (Photo by John Russo)
The game went 19 innings. Wilson Valdez and Danys Baez look like heroes.
Write a script better than this one. I dare you.
In a game that seemed as though it would never end, Raul Ibanez sent Phillies fans home happy.
With the bases loaded with one out in the 19th inning, Ibanez connected on a game-winning sacrifice fly off Reds reliever Carlos Fisher to give the Phillies a 5-4 win.
This was the longest Phillies game in nearly 20 years. Now let’s figure out how we arrived at this climatic conclusion.
Jimmy Rollins led off the game with a single and Ben Francisco hammered a line-drive home run to left field to give the Phillies an early 2-0 lead.
The Phillies struck again in the second inning when John Mayberry Jr. singled to center field to bring home Carlos Ruiz to extend the lead to 3-0. Mayberry was two-for-four in the game and possibly the Phillies’ best hitter.
Joey Votto got the Reds on the board in the fifth inning. He stroked an RBI single that scored Drew Stubbs to make it a two-run game.
With the Phillies still leading 3-1 in the seventh inning, Jay Bruce connected on a two-run RBI single off Roy Halladay to tie the game up. Bruce was killed the Phillies all series as he has driven in nine runs in three games.
In the 10th inning, Bruce struck again, ripping a solo homer off Antonio Bastardo. the Phillies answered right back in the bottom half. Ryan Howard stepped up and delivered a game-tying home run to send the game further into extra innings.
The Phillies did have chances to put the Reds away early. They also had chances to do it late. They left countless men on base but got the job done in the end.
The Reds almost took the game in one of the craziest half of an inning ever seen. In the top of the 11th, Kyle Kendrick and J.C. Romero managed the weirdest inning possible.
After getting the first batter, Kendrick plunked Brandon Phillips. Romero replaced him and proceeded to walk Joey Votto. With Rolen up and one out, Romero picked off Phillips on second. He then walked Rolen and Bruce. David Herndon entered and got Ramon Hernandez to ground out to end the inning.
The next wackiest inning you will ever see came in the top of the 19th. After Baez had thrown five innings, the Phils pulled off a switch only common in little league. Dan Sardinha, the last bench player, pinch-hit for Baez and stayed in at catcher. Carlos Ruiz shifted to third and Placido Polanco to second.
Valdez took the hill, facing Votto, Rolen and Bruce. He got Votto to fly out deep to center, plunked Rolen and got a fly out from Bruce and pop out to Fisher to retire the side.
2B: Ruiz (6), Valdez (7). 3B: Ibanez (1). HR: Francisco (6), Howard (11).
WP: Valdez (1-0). LP: Fisher (0-1).