It wasn’t how they drew it up, but with that lineup, no doubt they’ll take it. With a makeshift order due to the injuries to Chase Utley and Placido Polanco, and following a Brad Lidge two-out meltdown in the ninth, the Phillies were able to take the middle game of the series over the Reds, 9-6 in 10 innings.
Lidge easily put aside the first two batters of the ninth before walking Brandon Phillips. Orlando Cabrera then singled to left to bring the tying run to the plate and wouldn’t you know it, he tied it. Joey Votto annihilated a baseball into the left-center field seats, knotting it up at six and making it a tale of two Lidge’s.
During extra baseball, the Phillies ripped apart lefty reliever Arthur Rhodes, who had previously gone 33 straight games without allowing a run – a major league record. Ryan Howard doubled to lead off and Jayson Werth walked before Raul Ibanez snapped the tie game with a double that bounced out of the glove of center fielder Drew Stubbs. Howard scored to make it 7-6 and one batter later, Ben Francisco singled to left field to score Werth. Ibanez was then plated on a sac-bunt by Wilson Valdez as the Phils showed their small-ball side. It’s something we don’t see often, but in this case, it worked.
On the scoreboard, the Phils were able to put up crooked numbers in the 2nd, 4th, and 10th innings as they moved up the standings, inching closer to New York and Atlanta. Brian Schneider was the golden bat this evening, going yard in the second frame with a 402-foot blast. He went 3-for-4 on the night and has filled in admirably for injured backstop Carlos Ruiz, one of the seven Phils on the DL currently.
Starter Joe Blanton couldn’t get the win due to the blown save by Lidge, however, he was solid for a second straight outing. Joe B again went 7 2/3 innings, giving up three earned runs, the same line he produced five days ago against Cleveland.