It was an Oakland Athletics reunion as former teammates Joe Blanton and Rich Harden were in the midst of a pitcher’s duel. Blanton allowed one earned run on five hits in seven innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out five. Harden also pitched seven innings and allowed one earned run. He allowed four hits, walked two, and struck out six.
The runs came on Jimmy Rollins’ solo home run in the third inning and Kosuke Fukudome’s RBI double in the fourth. Blanton and Harden took care of the rest.
Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge combined for two hitless innings out of the ‘pen. Lately, everything has been falling the Phillies way. Aramis Ramirez attempted to steal, but Fukudome grounded into a double play. The ball bounced off Lidge’s leg. In perfect position, Rollins caught the ricochet and turned the twin-killing. An inning later, Raul Ibanez made an unbelievable diving catch. The defense was key.
Chan Ho Park was a big factor in the win, eating three innings. He did not allow a baserunner and struck out five. His spectacular performance gave the Philliesa chance to win. The bullpen was tremendous. The problem was the nine men the offense left on base.
After Clay Condrey tossed a 1-2-3 top of the 13th, Jeff Samardzija got two easy outs to start the bottom half of the inning. Walks to Ryan Howard and Ibanez gave Jayson Werth a chance for his first career walk-off home run. He didn’t disappoint. He crushed a fly ball to deep left. He knew it; the crowd knew it. Game over!
The exciting 4-1 win was the Phillies tenth consecutive win. It has been eighteen years since the Phillies won ten straight. There couldn’t have been a better sight in Philadelphia tonight than watching Werth being mobbed at home plate by his teammates.