They played all day and all night.
Aside from 41 minutes for a rain delay and an hour between games, that’s just what the Phillies and White Sox did.
They played and played and played some more.
At the end of the night … er, early the next morning, not much had been settled. The White Sox took the opener with a 5-4 victory in 11 innings and the Phillies earned the split with a 2-1 win in 13 innings in the nightcap.
Strangely, both games lasted three hours, 53 minutes.
“I started seeing stuff out there for a while. I was getting pretty dizzy out there,” said Michael Young, the hero of the second game. “I’m happy we can get that win any way we can get it.”
After a short nap, the teams will return in a few hours for the series finale later on Sunday afternoon.
Thanks to Young, the Phillies won’t have to drag themselves out of bed hoping to avoid a series sweep. With two outs in the 13th, Young laced a single to right field to send Jimmy Rollins scurrying in from second. A slick slide around catcher Tyler Flowers helped Rollins avoid the tag and slip his left hand over the plate for the game-winner.
Even with two outs in the 13th and Chase Utley waiting on deck, Rollins wasn’t going to stop at third base.
“Jimmy did a good job on the bases there at the end,” Young said. “Yeah, we’re going no matter what.”
Rollins had to go. With both clubs already thin in the bullpen because of an 11-inning game earlier, there was no time to wait. Besides, manager Charlie Manuel sent reliever Joe Savery to the plate to bunt with one out in the 13th while the White Sox had backup catcher Josh Phegley playing second base after Gordon Beckham left the game with a quadriceps contusion.
Phegley wasn’t out there for long. Catcher Humberto Quintero led off the 13th with a walk off reliever Simon Castro. He was erased when Jimmy Rollins grounded into a fielder’s choice, narrowly beating the relay to avoid the double play.
With one out and Rollins on first, Savery bunted him over to set the stage for Young.
Three pitches later, Young gave Savery his second win of the season, which, coincidentally, came in the Phillies only other 13-inning game this year.
Meanwhile, after exhausting the bullpen and the bench in the opener, the Phillies were down a man before the second game even started. In the opener, hot-hitting outfielder Ben Revere broke his right foot when he fouled a pitch off it in the 11th inning. Moments later he grounded into a double play to end the game.
But the night was just beginning.
“He’s our hottest hitter,” Manuel said. “And him and Jimmy Rollins are definitely our speed. They give us a chance to play little ball at times.”
“Very tough, especially with the way he’s been playing over the last couple of months,” Young said. “He’s been everything we thought he’d be when we got him over here.”
Nevertheless, Revere’s replacement in center field, John Mayberry Jr., accounted for the Phillies’ other run in the nightcap when he hit a solo homer with two outs in the seventh inning. The homer was the only significant bit of offense the Phillies produced against White Sox starter, Hector Santiago.
In 7 1/3, Santiago allowed just three hits and a walk to go with nine strikeouts. He also retired 17 of the last 19 he faced before plunking Kevin Frandsen with a pitch in the eighth.
Fortunately for the Phillies, starter John Lannan also pitched well. For the second straight game Lannan allowed just four hits over eight innings. It was the first time since July of 2009 that Lannan pitched at least eight innings in back-to-back starts.
The Phillies’ relievers were just as good, blanking the White Sox for five innings.
Manuel used former hair stylist and independent league pitcher, Luis Garcia for the ninth and 10th innings before turning to Justin De Fratus and Jake Diekman in the 11th and 12th innings. Savery, the self-described, “uh-oh guy,” handled the last inning.
In those five innings the relievers allowed four hits and five walks, but no runs.
How does that work?
“We got a split,” Manuel said. “It might have been lucky, I don’t know.”
The Phillies have another chance to get back to .500 on Sunday. At 47-48, the Phillies send Cole Hamels (4-11, 4.17) to the mound in the last game before the All-Star break against Jose Quintana (4-2, 3.67).
The good part is the Phillies have four days off after a crazy 24 hours against the White Sox. How much better will the break be if the Phils can finally get to .500?
“I think we were all pretty exhausted,” Young said. “It was a long day, but obviously, at this point we need wins any way we can get them.”