Brad Lidge tried, oh how he tried, but in the end he failed to blow the game and the Phillies hung on for a 5-4 victory and four-game sweep of fading Colorado.
Lidge never saw an empty base he couldn't try and fill and yesterday was no exception. He was summoned for a non-save situation in the ninth inning and first turned it into a save situation, then nearly a blown save situation, then nearly an outright loss before inducing the final Rockies batter to bounce out meekly with the bases loaded. Had the Rockies managed one more hit Lidge could have headed straight for the parking lot without passing the showers en route to a new zip code.
The Phils put quite an interesting assortment of players on the field for yesterday's game and in the end used a substantial part of their bench in clinching the victory. Jayson Werth got the day off prompting all sorts of rumors he'd been traded. Placido Polanco started his third straight game at second base, his natural and preferred position. Greg Dobbs started at third and produced two hits. Brian Schneider was the catcher and produced a two-run triple to give the Phils the lead. If you've ever seen Schneider run you'd know something unusual had to happen on that hit to get him to third base and it did. The outfielders converged, merged and failed to retrieve the ball before what seemed like half a hour passed. Not to take anything away from Schneider; the ball clearly found the gap.
Joe Blanton pitched well and was lifted before he went into his normal late inning fog. Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero pitched an inning each of effective relief. Then Lidge came in and produced his usual quota of atrial fibrillations among the gathered before getting the final out.
With the victory the Phils climbed to within 4.5 games of first place Atlanta, which is precisely where they started the second half of the season before the disastrous road trip through the Midwest.