SAN DIEGO Vance Worley pitched a tremendous ballgame Thursday night.Too bad he didnt see it all.Worleys finest moment in the Phillies 2-0 win over the San Diego Padres (see Salisbury's Instant Replay) came in the bottom of the seventh inning when he protected a one-run lead by striking out dangerous pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay with runners on the corners.Moments before that, seven innings worth of perspiration caught up with Worley and his glasses fogged over. They were so foggy he couldnt see catcher Carlos Ruiz signs.The two guys before Kotsay I couldnt see, Worley said of a walk to Jason Bartlett and a single to Orlando Hudson.With the Phillies up, 1-0, the left-handed hitting Kotsay came up for the biggest at-bat of the game. Phils manager Charlie Manuel made it clear that this was Worleys game he had no one warming up in the bullpen in a situation that may have called for lefty Antonio Bastardo. (Right-hander Jose Contreras rose in the bullpen during the Kotsay at-bat.)As Kotsay dug in to the batters box, Worleys glasses fogged over again. Ball one. In such a crucial situation, the pitcher decided he couldnt take any chances. He called for athletic trainer Scott Sheridan, who came out of the dugout with a towel and wiped the lenses clear.Thats the first time Ive ever done that, said Worley, who cant wear contact lenses and has had problems with foggy glasses in the past. I didnt want to screw it up.Worley went to work on Kotsay and prevailed in a nine-pitch showdown. He struck out the San Diego pinch-hitter with a full-count, back-door slider.Worley had tremendous success with that pitch all night. He finished with a career-high 11 strikeouts five swinging, six looking.He pounds the zone, leftfielder Juan Pierre said. He gets so many called third strikes. His ball moves a lot. From where I stand, it doesnt look like there are a lot of comfortable at-bats against him.The strikeout of Kotsay was one of six outs that Worley got with a runner on third base. The guy was clutch.His confidence level is big, Manuel said. He can turn it up when hes in a jam.The win was the Phillies' 12th straight in Petco Park, dating to 2008. Thats a club record. The Phils previous record for consecutive wins in a visiting park was 11 at Pittsburghs Forbes Field in 1954 and 1955.Pierre played a big role in the win. The Phillies are a weak offensive team they were 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position Tuesday night and shut out over 11 innings Wednesday night so there is a premium on manufacturing runs. Pierre helped them do that with a leadoff walk in the first inning. A single by Placido Polanco, an error, and a sacrifice fly by Jimmy Rollins gave the Phils an early run. It looked like the Phils might get more against rookie Joe Wieland in that inning, but John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz came up empty with the bases loaded. The Phils didnt score again until the ninth when they got an unearned run on a passed ball.We put an offensive surge on them, manager Charlie Manuel said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. We scored two more runs that we did Wednesday night.Manuel had nothing but praise for Worley, who shined with no margin for error.He was good, the skipper said. He was aggressive and he stayed aggressive.Worley had worked with backup catcher Brian Schneider in his previous 14 starts, dating to July. The two had forged a nice bond, but Manuel is not a fan of the idea of a personal catcher and he wanted to get his No. 1 guy with Worley. Schneider should get a game here over the weekend.Schneider and Chooch get all the same reports and game info on how to work hitters, Manuel said. Their approach should be similar.Worley liked Ruiz game-calling.We mixed it up early and that helped, he said.E-mail Jim Salisbury at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phillies' Worley leaves Padres in a fog
April 20, 2012, 6:10 am