During the 2008 season it seemed Brad Lidge was unstoppable. And he pretty much was. He converted all 41 save opportunities during the regular season as well as seven more in the postseason. Lidge always found ways to get the job done. Now a days he is content on finding ways to blow the save.
Lidge entered the game in the ninth after Roy Oswalt (9-13, 3.12) pitched an incredible game going eight innings and only allowing one run. Oswalt was in line for the win and having only thrown 101 pitches many thought he could have finished off the game. Instead Charlie Manuel brought in his closer. Lidge allowed a lead off single to former Phillie Matt Stairs. He then intentionally walked Adrian Gonzalez before hitting Ryan Ludwick with an 0-2 pitch to load the bases. A balk would allow the runner to score from third and send the game into extras. It was Lidge’s fifth blown save in 22 chances.
The way the Phillies have been hitting lately, they were even lucky to have Lidge in a save situation. Coming into last night’s game the Phils had only scored seven runs in their last four games getting swept by the Astros at home. San Diego’s Mat Latos (13-5. 2.29) did a great job keeping the cold streak alive. Latos went seven innings allowing only one run on five hits.
The Phillies eventually would pick up their closer in the 12th inning when Jimmy Rollins scored the winning run on a Placido Polanco single. The box score will say Rollins scored on Polly’s single. What it won’t say is that Padres centerfielder Luis Durango made a perfect throw and Rollins had to adjust his slide going wide to avoid the tag. It was a slide that provoked adjectives like ‘fantastic’ and ‘unbelievable’.
Well whatever you thought it was, it was the game winner for a team that desperately needed a win. This win puts the Phillies only two games back in the NL East and tops in the Wild Card a half game ahead of the Giants.
Worth noting: Rollins was one of the few bright spots with three hits at the top of the lineup. Ryan Howard continues to struggle going 1 for 5 with four strikeouts.