In a couple of ways, it was just like old times Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Brad Lidge saved a game for Roy Oswalt–something he used to do regularly. But after a turn of events no one, no matter how crazy, would have foreseen the last time it had happened– July 28, 2007–both were wearing Phillies uniforms this time.
And the other familiar sight Wednesday was reminiscent not of the 2007 season but of the next one, when Ryan Madson teamed with Lidge as the most dominant setup-closer combo in baseball.
Oswalt held the Dodgers to five hits in seven innings, and Madson and Lidge combined to retire the last six L.A. batters – four by strikeout – to lead the Phillies to a 2-0 victory.
Sure, the win was important because it kept the Phillies 2 ½ games behind the Braves, who have pulled out two late-inning wins the past two days in Houston. But maybe even more importantly, the win made a statement a night after the Dodgers bombed Kyle Kendrick, and seemingly half the bullpen, for 15 runs.
If you want to get picky, the Phillies did leave a couple of runs on the bases, and their failure to score Wilson Valdez after his leadoff triple in the fifth inning was glaring. But the pitching took care of that. Oswalt wasn’t dominant, but he displayed steely focus when he encountered jams and got outs when he needed them most.
Raul Ibanez, meanwhile, stayed red-hot, driving in an insurance run with a sixth-inning double that extended his hitting streak to 18 games. Domonic Brown got the Phils on the board in the fourth with his legs, beating out a ground ball that would be a double play with most other major leaguers running. But with Dom gliding to first? Forget it.
As with a lot of Phillies games this season, however, there is a “but.” While hustling to second on a double that led to the Phillies’ second run, Ross Gload pulled up lame halfway between first base and second base, and he immediately left the game. Don’t be shocked tomorrow if he becomes the latest to pass through the DL turnstile, likely with a groin strain.
On the plus side, Shane Victorino homered, tripled and had three RBIs in a rehab game tonight with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He was expected to rejoin the Phillies on Friday, but it sure looks like he’s ready now.