If you think you're tired after last night's 19-inning marathon, how about what the arms and legs must be feeling like for the Phillies and Reds, almost all of whom saw action less than a half-day ago? Get your Bloody Mary ingredients ready, because it's time to get some hair of the dog in ya and settle in for another 9(ish) innings.
The Phils have to be hoping Cliff Lee can give them a long outing today, with every available member of their bullpen throwing last night. David Herndon was optioned to AAA this morning in order to bring back Jose Contreras, who did not pitch yesterday after throwing 2 innings the day before.
Everyone's hero and mine, Wilson Valdez, will get the start at third base after starting second and PITCHING A CLEAN 19TH INNING last night. Utility man indeed. Michael Martinez will lead off and play short, giving a breather to Jimmy Rollins, who had a hell of a game in the field last night and also scored the winning run. Dom Brown bats second, followed by Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, John Mayberry, Valdez, Dane Sardinha, and Cliff Lee.
WINNING, BEFORE IT BECAME A DUMB CHARLIE SHEEN THING
It's every bit the makeshift lineup you'd expect in a day game after a night like that, but we fully expect the Phillies to come out amped up and ready to win this series. They reminded us again last night that they are a group of winners. It may sound overrated or whimsical, but look at what Wilson Valdez did. He was in a position where he had basically no real expectations placed on him. A manager is basically conceding a run or two when putting a position player with extremely limited pitching experience on the mound, with no other options but to do so, and hoping his guys can get a few back in the home half of the inning.
Instead, Valdez shuts out the heart of a dangerous lineup, including the reigning NL MVP, and some field employee has a pool of Gatorade to clean up in the visiting dugout.
Immediately following that scoreless Valdez frame, after not scoring for hours, the Phillies offense came out and got him a win. It hasn't all been pretty lately, and the memorable game doesn't erase any and all concerns over the team's offense, but it did confirm that they are a winning group.
Hopefully they can bring that energy to the plate again today and support Lee's bid against righty Homer Bailey, who has pitched very well through four starts this season (3-1, 2.08 ERA, 0.88 WHIP).