Well what looked like a game that neither team wanted to win, Brian Schneider finally ends it with one swing in the bottom of the 12th inning. Footage from this game may end up in a Little League training video some day, but regardless, it still ended with a victory for the Phightins.
It’s too bad that in the mix of a Ryan Madson meltdown, a potential game-winning sacfly by Jimmy Rollins and another blown save by Brad Lidge there was actually good pitching tonight. Kyle Kendrick did his best Roy Halladay impression throwing six and two-thirds innings, allowing only one run on three hits and striking out four while only throwing 73 pitches.
Kendrick needed to be close to perfect. Reds’ starter Johnny Cueto was equally good going seven innings allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits.
After the starters left is when it got crazy. Madson had two outs in the top of the eighth with runners on first and second. First-time All Star Brandon Phillips struck out, but Schneider couldn’t hold onto the ball. When he couldn’t find it, Madson ran past home plate trying to help and that allowed Drew Stubbs to score from second. Yes you read that right. Stubbs scored from second on a passed ball. Rollins added a sac fly in the bottom half of the inning and the Phillies retook the lead 3-2.
In comes Lidge. After allowing a single and a walk to Joey Votto and Scott Rolen, Lidge got Jay Bruce to ground into a Valdez; I mean a double play. The next batter Miguel Cairo doubled and scored Votto. All tied up 3-3.
Fast forward to extra innings. Mostly three-up, three-down with a hit sprinkled in here and there and this game looked like it could go 20 innings. It seemed the Phillies line-up was comfortable playing the waiting game with the Reds. Schneider said enough of this.
Schneider took a strike from Jordan Smith and then sent the next one into the stands for just his third homer of the year. Nelson Figueroa pitched the 11th and 12th innings to snag the illusive win.
With the Braves having the night off, the Phillies picked up a 1/2 game on the division leaders. Atlanta will be in New York starting tomorrow for a three game series. Either way if the Phillies keep winning, they will make up ground on one of them.
Worth noting: Shane Victorino was 3 for 4 and hit his 14th home run of the year. As a team, the Phillies only struck out six time in 43 at bats for the game. Wilson Valdez also had two hits for the Phils. This was the 81st straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park.