Wilson Valdez says he was ready, but the Phillies infielder didn't have to make his second pitching appearance of the season Thursday night.
The Phillies used their entire relief corps in a 4-3 loss in 11 innings to the Chicago Cubs, so Valdez was prepared for the call.
Manager Charlie Manuel said before Friday night's game against the Cubs at Citizens Bank Park that he had considered using Valdez.
Even though Manuel never talked to him about it, Valdez said, he was mentally prepared. In his first appearance on the mound, on May 25, he earned the victory with one scoreless inning in a 5-4 win in 19 innings against the visiting Cincinnati Reds.
"I didn't warm up, but I was ready if my team needed me," Valdez said before Friday's game. "I'm ready to do whatever my team needs."
David Herndon allowed an unearned run in the top of the 11th inning Thursday to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead. Herndon pitched two innings, and Manuel said he didn't want him to pitch more than three.
The manager didn't have to send Herndon out for a third inning after Chase Utley flied out to end the game with Carlos Ruiz on first base. Herndon threw 43 pitches in his two innings.
Manuel said Valdez "probably would have gone in the game, but we didn't get that far. When we put Herndon in the game, he was the last pitcher, and we figured he'd go two to three innings at the most and didn't want to hurt him."
Taking out Kendrick
Thursday's 11-inning game included a 1 hour, 17 minute rain delay. Kyle Kendrick started and pitched three scoreless innings, but Manuel didn't want to bring him back after such a long delay.
He recalled a survey from the late 1980s or early '90s that said sitting for 40 minutes to an hour has an adverse effect on a pitcher.
"When he returns, his adrenaline is gone, and he is more tired than he thinks, and it's tough to do that," Manuel said.
So Kendrick was done for the night.
Shaking things up
For the first time this season, third baseman Placido Polanco batted fifth Friday as Manuel tried to shake up his lethargic offense.
Polanco, who began the game hitting a team-high .310, had made 33 starts as the No. 2 batter and 24 at No. 3.
Jimmy Rollins was the leadoff hitter Friday, with Shane Victorino batting second.
"I like Victorino and Rollins at the top because of their speed," Manuel said. "I am trying to get something that works."
It worked Friday; Polanco hit a seventh-inning grand slam.
Former Phillies catcher Tim McCarver, a Fox TV analyst, is in town for Saturday's 4:10 p.m. game against the Cubs.
McCarver understands the Phillies' offensive struggles, but he's not ready to throw in the towel.
"I am not convinced this team can't score runs," McCarver said. "I think the jury is still out."
He doesn't see the Phillies acquiring any significant offensive punch to bolster the offense.
"For the most part, these are the guys who have to do it," McCarver said. "It's up to the players to do what they have done in the past."