PHILADELPHIA -- On one side, the longest game of the year was all about Wilson Valdez.
On the other side, it was all about Brandon Phillips.
Not so great story.
Valdez is the utility man who pitched a hitless 19th inning for the Phillies in the early hours of Thursday morning, becoming (according to the Elias Sports Bureau) the first player since Babe Ruth to start a game in the field and end up winning it on the mound.
Phillips is the sometimes spectacular Reds second baseman who spent the hours after the game apologizing to Reds fans for getting picked off at a key moment in the 11th inning.
The Reds had runners at first and second, Phillies pitcher J.C. Romero was struggling to throw strikes, and cleanup hitter Scott Rolen was at the plate with a 3-1 count. Phillips, on second base, got caught talking to Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, and Romero picked him off.
Reds manager Dusty Baker said Phillips apologized when he returned to the dugout.
After the game, Phillips, who tweets regularly and sometimes amusingly under the name @DatDudeBP, wrote on Twitter: "I want 2 apologize 2 all the #Reds fans 4 my mistake tonite. It was my fault 4 the loss, but I will keep my head up and get ready 4 the next game."
Asked Thursday morning if he planned to talk to Phillips about the play, Baker said: "I don't have to talk to him. The whole world is talking to him. All the great things Brandon has done, that [pickoff] could be shown for years. I still see [Jose] Canseco getting hit in the head."
Meanwhile, Valdez was back in the Phillies lineup for Thursday's day game, playing third base. He got a standing ovation when he came to the plate in the second inning.
A few other noteworthy developments on Thursday:
-- Baker said that had the Phillies not scored in the 19th, shortstop Paul Janish would have pitched the 20th inning for the Reds. He planned to put outfielder Chris Heisey at second base, move Phillips to shortstop, and insert pitcher Sam LeCure in the outfield. He said LeCure and Jay Bruce would have alternated between left and right field, depending on which hitter was at the plate.
-- LeCure and Matt Maloney were in the Reds bullpen, but both were unavailable to pitch because of heavy workloads early in the week. The Reds put Maloney on the disabled list Thursday, and called up Daryl Thompson. The Phillies also made a roster move, sending Daniel Herndon to Triple-A and activating Jose Contreras from the DL, but that was planned.
-- Since Valdez was in the game, he didn't warm up in the bullpen before pitching. Bullpen coach Mickey Billmeyer quipped: "He's a reliever, but he's not a bullpen guy."
-- One Phillies executive joked, "We can go with 11 pitchers now, because we have Valdez." But Phils PR man Greg Casterioto admitted he missed a chance, when he didn't list Valdez in the bullpen section on his daily notes.