Game 50, 2011: Phillies 5, Reds 4 (19 innings)

[Box Score]

[ESPN SweetSpot] [] [The Good Phight] [Hal McCoy]

This game. Oh man what a game. This surely is an instant classic, and it’s a game that Reds fans will never forget. It is a game that went 6 hours and 11 minutes into the night. A position player ended up getting the win; the first time this happened since August 22nd, 2000 (Brent Mayne).

This post should have been about the continued heroics of Jay Bruce, who had two more huge hits in this one. He tied the game at 3-3 with a two run, two-out single off of Roy Halladay and then later homered off of nasty lefty Antonio Bastardo in the 10th inning. Instead, Coco Cordero blew the save and we all watched a 2nd ballgame and then some.

I have so many questions. It was also obvious to me that the Reds were going to lose this game on a couple fronts. It’s like they began to press, swing at a ton of pitches and hurriedly waste at-bats in extra frames. They allowed Danys Baez to shut them down for four innings. By the time Wilson Valdez came around in the top of the 19th, it was a foregone conclusion. But why did Dusty Baker trot out an obviously tired Carlos Fisher in the bottom of the 19th with two guys in the pen that were somewhat fresh in Sam Lecure and Matt Maloney sitting down in the pen? It makes no sense, no matter what the Reds manager will say.

As well–the umpires increasingly screwed the Reds as the game went on. They pushed this game in favor of the Phillies until the bitter end, which ended with me having to listen to MLB radio because Time Warner cable froze (and we were at a friends house).

This was the best game I’ve seen in over a decade, and probably the best I’ve ever seen in my life with all things considered. It was well played, had a ton of dramatic moments, and had everything you want in a ballgame. It’s the kind of game that I can only dream that someday I’ll be present for. The only thing it missed was a nice finish where the Reds scraped out a ‘W’. That would have made it all worth it. It just wasn’t in the cards.

Top Plays:

Brandon Phillips picked of while grab-assing

Bruce’s game-tying single

Jay Bruce’s go-ahead home run (#13)

Ryan Howard’s game-tying blast in the 10th

“14th inning stretch”

Wilson Valdez on the bump. My gosh.

The inevitable, heartbreaking losing play


-FanGraphs has a post detailing Jay Bruce’s May surge.

-I actually missed seeing this play, but heard on the radio and from a few fellow Reds fans via text how bad of a mistake Brandon Phillips made. Looks like he owned up to it.