Utley and Polanco are out,
Is the Phillies season in doubt?
But the backups came through,
even though Brad Lidge blew,
The bench gave fans a reason to shout.
It was obvious that when Chase Utley and Placido Polanco were put on the disabled list earlier today that someone on the Phillies would need to step up to help the team win, but who thought it would be Brian Schneider and Wilson Valdez?
The two bench players each hit three-run home runs tonight in the Phillies 9-6 victory over the Reds. Schneider went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Valdez went 2-for-4 with four RBIs in the win. Joe Blanton lasted 7 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits to earn his third consecutive quality start. He would not pick up the win, however, after Brad Lidge blew his second save in his last three chances. With two outs and two on in bottom of the ninth, Joey Votto would hit a towering three-run blast off of Lidge to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
Ryan Howard started the offensive rally in the top of the tenth with a lead-off double off of Reds’ reliever Arthur Rhodes. Jayson Werth then walked on five pitches before Raul Ibanez hit an RBI double to centerfield, ending Rhodes 33-inning scoreless streak. Two more runs would score in the inning off of a Ben Francisco single and a Valdez sacrifice bunt. JC Romero earned the save by retiring Jay Bruce, former Phillie Miguel Cairo, and Laynce Nix in order.
Tonight’s win was a huge morale boost for the team and its fans after hearing the news of Utley’s and Polanco’s injuries, and losses by the Braves and Mets didn’t hurt either. The Phillies are 2.5 games behind the Braves in the division, and they continue their series against the Reds tomorrow afternoon at 12:35. Roy Halladay (9-6, 2.29 ERA) faces Aaron Harang (6-7, 5.07 ERA) in the rubber match.
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