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Phils stun Reds with wild ninth inning

The Phillies' bizarre ninth inning featured Cliff Lee getting picked off and Erik Kratz and Freddy Galvis going back-to-back against Aroldis Chapman to beat the Reds, 3-2.

Ryne Sandberg, left, high-fives Freddy Galvis, right, after he hit a walk-off home run as the Phillies win 3-2 over the Reds at Citizens Bank Park. ( DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer )
Ryne Sandberg, left, high-fives Freddy Galvis, right, after he hit a walk-off home run as the Phillies win 3-2 over the Reds at Citizens Bank Park. ( DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer )Read more

Today on Check out David Maialetti's photo slideshow from yesterday's come-from-behind win.

THE MADNESS unfolded as Jonathan Pettibone sat in a chair in the Phillies' clubhouse, his right arm wrapped in ice after another impressive outing. The rookie who pitched the first seven innings against the Reds had just watched Freddy Galvis foul off a 1-0 pitch in the ninth when he felt the crowd roar.

"There was a delay" on the television in the clubhouse, Pettibone said, "so you could hear the screaming. You know that something is happening, but you don't know what."

What was happening was one of the most electric moments Citizens Bank Park had witnessed all season: Galvis, his right index finger extended toward the sky, rounding first base as a swarm of cream-colored jerseys gathered at home plate, the solo home run he had belted off relief ace Aroldis Chapman rattling around the stands in the leftfield corner. It happened yesterday afternoon, and it lifted the foundering Phillies to a 3-2 win and a series win over a team that had swept them 4 weeks earlier.

The significance of the bottom-of-the-ninth victory depended on the perspective of the player involved. Take Erik Kratz. In a perfect world, the backup catcher would not have been in the game, but a hamstring injury suffered by Carlos Ruiz in the second inning meant that Kratz stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the Phillies trailing 2-1. Chapman delivered a 98 mph fastball, and Kratz crushed it into the seats in leftfield.

Or, how about Cliff Lee? As the rest of the dugout erupted in celebration of Kratz' game-tying shot, the pitcher drooped his shoulders and shook his head. With one healthy bench player remaining, Charlie Manuel had sent Lee out to run for Delmon Young, who had drawn a walk to lead off the ninth. But Chapman froze him with a pickoff throw, and the ensuing rundown eliminated the potential for Kratz' home run to end the game.

"I've never been so disappointed when a guy hit a home run to tie the game in my life," Lee said.

And then there was Galvis, who was only in the game because Ryan Howard was out of the lineup with an injured knee, leading Manuel to use regular third baseman Michael Young at first base. The 23-year-old utility man entered yesterday with 58 plate appearances on the season, all of them paling in comparison to the one he put together against Chapman.

As Galvis rounded third base, he removed his batting helmet and beamed. Of the smile that was plastered across his face, he said: "It was the biggest I've had so far in my life."

Manuel tried to play it cool when he walked into a conference room for his usual postgame press conference, but it wasn't long before the longtime manager was smiling as well. He had used Lee to pinch-run because the Phillies only had one healthy bench player available. He said he would have thought about pinch-hitting John Mayberry Jr. for Galvis, presumably if Lee had not been picked off and Kratz had grounded into a doubleplay. The pitcher's spot was due up third at the start of the inning, which would have been the other spot to use Mayberry.

Manuel was perfectly content not to have encountered either scenario. It was one of those rare games where the Phillies' offense looked better than the numbers revealed. After a 10-0 thrashing on Saturday night, they made solid contact against Homer Bailey throughout the afternoon. But thanks to some bad luck - Jimmy Rollins alone was robbed of two hits - the Phillies entered the eighth inning trailing 2-0. Pettibone allowed both of those runs in seven innings of work, throwing 104 pitches with four strikeouts and three walks while lowering his ERA to 3.00.

Justin De Fratus and Antonio Bastardo then succeeded in a spot where so many Phillies relievers have failed this season, pitching scoreless eighth and ninth innings to keep the deficit at a manageable level.

"It's huge," Kratz said. "It doesn't matter if we would have gone through seven guys in the bullpen or one guy. It's their job when they come in there, and as a catcher, you come out and tell them, 'Hey, we have to keep it right here.' You've got to play it like it's a 0-0 game. You can't let them get to three. Because Chapman with a two-run lead is tougher than Chapman with a one-run lead. Each run is huge. And they did a great job."

With two out in the bottom of the eighth, Ben Revere legged out an infield single, stole second and, after a Michael Young walk, scored on a single by Chase Utley. That set the stage for the bottom of the ninth, and a victory that now gives the 21-23 Phillies a chance to push their record over .500 with a sweep of their three-game road series against wretched Marlins. The last time they were at .500 was April 14, when they were 6-6 after winning two out of three in Miami. They have yet to play a day with a winning record. Yesterday marked an important step in that direction.