His arm was fine. It was his legs that gave out.

Carlos Fisher hadn't thrown this many pitches in this many innings since he was moved permanently to the bullpen after his 2007 season in the minors. His long-term goal remains the same: Stick in the big leagues as a middle reliever with the Reds.

His short-term goal changed after he threw five innings of relief last night.

"My goal is to get out of bed," said Fisher, 28. "If I get out of bed, I'll worry about getting downstairs. Then, getting to the field."

With two relievers sore and unavailable in a tie game already in its 14th inning, the Reds needed Fisher indefinitely. He gave them five effective, scoreless innings … and that was that.

In the 19th, Fisher gave up a leadoff single to Jimmy Rollins and had nothing after that. He tried to slide step toward home plate to keep Rollins from swiping second base. And so, he walked Domonic Brown, the key failure in his unlikely outing.

"When I started slide-stepping, that's when I lost it. My arm just couldn't catch up," Fisher explained.

A bunt, an intentional walk, and he had to bear down against Raul Ibanez. That didn't happen; Ibanez laced a lazy fastball to deep centerfield to score Rollins on a sacrifice fly.

Fisher had nothing more.

"I hadn't been in that position for a long time. So, it was more my body not being able to adjust to that condition," Fisher said.

Fisher was proud of giving the Reds 95 pitches, the most he has thrown in nearly 4 years. He figured he might hit 50 or so, last though the 17th, if necessary.

"You're thinking, 'All right. I'm going to have to go two, at least.' Then, that went to three," Fisher said. "Past three, it's just, 'Let's just go out there and compete.' "

Competing past a couple of dozen pitches is rare for any reliever, especially one who twice has been sent to Triple A already this season. Fisher was recalled just Tuesday, an insurance policy after Brandon Arroyo lasted only 2 2/3 innings Monday.

He paid off last night – and so did his more strenuous offseason regimen.

"My trainer just texted me: 'That's why I busted your butt in the offseason. For days like this.' "

Who knows: A couple more miles on the treadmill and the teams might still be playing.
 
Quotable

Reds rightfielder Jay Bruce, on the Reds managing one baserunner and three flyouts against Phillies second baseman Wilson Valdez: "He actually had OK stuff."

Reds manager Dusty Baker, on wasted early-game chances: "It was so long ago, it seemed like … well, I was going to say 'yesterday,' but I guess it was."

Reds third baseman Scott Rolen, on absorbing a harmless slider on his left thigh from Valdez to reach base in the 19th: "I'd have taken that in the neck if I needed to."

Chess match, Part Deux

If Fisher made it through the 19th, Baker would have moved shortstop Paul Janish to pitcher, moved second baseman Brandon Phillips to short, moved leftfielder Chris Heisey to second and put reliever Sam LeCure in leftfield.

LeCure and Matt Maloney were unavailable to pitch, Baker said. LeCure actually tried to warm up but sat back down.

Pay attention

Brandon Phillips was picked off second base with one out in the 11th inning, when J.C. Romero fired to Wilson Valdez, but Jimmy Rollins gets an assist, too.

Phillips reached base when he was hit by Kyle Kendrick's last pitch.  Romero, a lefty, quickly walked lefty hitter Joey Votto. Then, while facing Scott Rolen, Romero whirled and picked off Phillips, who had been chatting with the cagey Rollins.

"I said something to J-Roll, put my head down and took a couple of steps off second," Phillips said. "I learned my lesson. I take the blame for this loss."

Rolen subsequently walked, as did Jay Bruce, a sequence which, had it unfolded just that way, would have scored Phillips.

"Romero couldn't find the plate," Baker said. "That was a huge play."