Dallas Green, in his Phillies Wall of Fame induction speech in pre-game ceremonies, talked about the passion of Phillies fans. Well, passion was there tonight in a Citizens Bank Park classic, a 6-5 Phillies win in 14 innings.
Aaron Rowand sent everyone home happy with a bases-loaded one-out single to right-center. He was mobbed by his teammates at first base. The Phillies continue to hang in the National League wild card race.
Rowand was just one of many Phillies heroes in a dandy of a game.
Jon Lieber pitched well again, Jimmy Rollins hit a game-tying two-run homer in the eighth and Pat Burrell followed with his first triple since, July of last season, a blow over Ken Griffey’s head that capped a three-run eighth and gave the Phillies a 4-3 lead. Burrell pumped his right fist in the air after sliding into third base. The Phillies copied his emotion.
Tom Gordon proved he was human when he gave up a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to pinch hitter Javier Valentine, putting the Phillies down, 5-4.
But, Chris Coste doubled to start the Phillies ninth, Chris Roberson pinch ran, took third on an errant pick off throw by David Ross and scored on a sacrifice fly by Shane Victorino, sending classic into extra innings.
Other Phillies heroes were veteran relievers Arthur Rhodes and Rick White. They pitched out of a bases loaded jam with one out in the eighth.
The classic also featured:
**The Reds used nine pitches, including their 12-game winner, Aaron Harang, in the 13th and Saturday’s scheduled starter, Elizardo Ramirez in the fateful 14th.
**The Phillies used seven pitchers, with a six-man bullpen giving up just two runs over the last eight innings.
**Ryan Howard was intentionally walked three times, one moving the winning run to second with two out in the 10th inning and again in the 14th, loading the bases with no out. How many times has that happened? Aaron Fultz had a chance to be the hero. He lined a 2-2 pitch to short for the first out. Rowand followed and it was “put this one in the win column.”
**Randy Wolf struck out as a pinch hitter in the 12th.
**Eric Milton, Cincinnati’s Sunday starter, got an infield single as a pinch hitter in the 13th.
**Todd Hollandsworth, struck out as a pinch hitter, remained in the game, fanned twice more and then made a spectacular diving catch in the 13th inning, robbing Rollins of a game-winning hit.
**448 pitches were thrown.
**The Phillies are the only undefeated team when leading after eight innings, 50-0.
**An advanced sale of over 35,000 was swelled by 5,786 walk-ups, producing a crowd of 41,461 on a perfect August evening. It was a game many will be talking about for a long time.