July was an action-packed month for the Philadelphia Phillies. Headed into the All Star Break, the Phillies won five straight games. They carried their hot streak into the second half of the season, leaving it to one of their All Stars to extend their winning streak in dramatic fashion.
Joe Blanton and Rich Harden, two former Oakland teammates, were in the midst of a pitcher’s duel. Blanton allowed just one run in seven innings. The Phillies scored one run themselves: a Jimmy Rollins solo home run. The game stood at one a piece headed into extra innings.
The Phillies bullpen was superb. Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge combined for two scoreless innings. Chan Ho Park ate three innings out of the bullpen, and Clay Condrey tossed a 1-2-3 thirteenth inning. The defense was also praiseworthy. Rollins turned a fantastic double play on a kick-save by Lidge, and Raul Ibanez made a tremendous diving catch.
Jeff Samardzija started the thirteenth with two easy outs, but walked Ryan Howard and Ibanez. Jayson Werth stepped up to the plate, and sent Samardzija’s offering deep into the left field seats. By the crack of the bat, everybody knew it was gone. As the Cubs players headed towards the visiting dugout disappointed, Werth rounded the bases with his finger up in the air, and was mobbed at home plate to celebrate the 4-1 win.
The victory marked the Phillies tenth consecutive win, the Phillies longest winning streak since 1991. Everything was falling the Phillies way. The win streak was impressive, but Werth’s walk off made it much more memorable.