Thursday, May 26, 2011

It Was One Crazy, Crazy Base Ball Game

When it's the 19th inning of a ballgame approaching six hours and 600 hitters and you've used your last pitcher, what you gonna do?

Philadelphia Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel scratched his head extra hard and finally turned to infield position player Wilson Valdez, who later said he hadn't pitched since a backyard game in his native Dominican Republic in 2002.

You'd never have know it as Valdez, whose fastball approached a more than respectable 90 miles an hour, mowed down three straight Cincinnati Reds to retire the side as the Phillies went on to win in the bottom of the 19th in the wee hours of this morning with a walk-off double by Raul Ibanez.

Valdez became the first position player to earn a win in a game since Brent Mayne in 2000, but Mayne hadn’t been in the starting lineup. The last player who began a game in the field, then ended it with a win on the pitching mound was none other than Babe Ruth in 1921.

Photograph by Matt Slocum/The Associated Press

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