Arms dry up, so Phils forced to go to Wells
Outfielder charged with five runs in 18th as one of 11 pitchers team uses
PHILADELPHIA -- Let the record show that Casper Wells had already pitched an inning this year with the White Sox when Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, out of options, pulled Wells from right field and put him on the mound to start the 18th inning against the D-backs on Saturday night.
He got Cliff Pennington to ground out and Tuffy Gosewisch to hit the ball directly at left fielder John McDonald.
"I felt pretty good after getting the first two guys, but they are Major League hitters, let's face it," Wells said.
Wells walked Tony Campana on five pitches, then had Adam Eaton 0-2 when Campana broke for second and Eaton lined the ball to left-center. Campana scored without a throw to finally break the deadlock that had been in place since the eighth inning, leading to a five-run inning and a 12-7 marathon win for the D-backs.
After Wells walked Paul Goldschmidt intentionally, Martin Prado scored Eaton with a ground ball to right field, and the floodgates opened.
"If I had a deeper arsenal, I could try to keep them off balance a little bit, but when I got behind in the count, they knew what was coming, " said Wells, who was one of 11 pitchers the Phillies used in a game that lasted seven hours and six minutes, the longest game in franchise history.
When Gerardo Parra delivered another two runs with a hit, Sandberg went to McDonald, who had been in left field, and Wells watched the deluge continue from right field.
"I wouldn't call what I did pitching," said McDonald, who thought he last pitched when he was 15 or 16 years old in American Legion ball.. "I was just trying to compete and get us out of the inning."
But Wells, who had pitched in a pinch at Towson University and recorded a scoreless inning for the White Sox in a 19-10 loss to the Indians on June 28, had at least an idea what he was trying to do.
"I tried to throw a two-seamer that has a little bit of movement, so I wasn't throwing a straight four-seamer in there," he said. "And a changeup to mix it up, but I didn't throw too many of those."
There was no fairy-tale ending for Wells, who took the loss and went-0-for-7at the plate, twice failing in extra innings to score a runner in scoring position. But he said he would have no trouble sleeping in the few hours remaining before reporting at noon ET on Sunday for the 1:35 p.m. series finale.
"I tried to do my best," he said. "I guess 'surreal' is a good word for the whole night in general."
Jay Greenberg is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.