Philadelphia (CBS)—Excuse the cap, which is sometimes slightly skewed to a side, and the funky Mohawk haircut and new-wave frames. Vance Worley has shown he can pitch in the majors. It’s too bad the Phillies have shown—at times—they can’t hit.
While the Phillies received some bad news earlier in the day Friday, having to put Roy Oswalt on the 15-day disabled list with lower back inflammation, they received a nice boost later by Worley.
Worley consistently threw first-pitch strikes and didn’t surrender a hit through five innings. But the Phillies’ offense, which has churned and grinded like a cranky, lurching rusted gate through the early parts of this season, sputtered again clunking along to a white-knuckle 1-0 victory over the Oakland A’s at Citizens Bank Park.
Pinch-hitter Ben Francisco’s walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth spelled the difference, driving home Shane Victorino with the game-winning run. Michael Stutes was credited with the victory, pitching the top of the ninth to move to 3-0. But it was Worley that got the Phillies there.
He was aided by fantastic defense, especially in the fifth, when Placido Polanco bare-handed a dribbler down the third-base line and Ryan Howard made a diving stab and tossed to Worley for the final out of the fifth. Through five, however, Worley did throw 94 pitches—an amount bolstered by a 27-pitch first inning.
Both teams were exceptional defensively. A’s centerfielder Ryan Sweeney made a diving catch across his body to rob Jimmy Rollins in the third inning. Prior to that, Oakland right fielder David DeJesus made a running catch to deny Brian Schneider of a hit to close out the second.
In the sixth, Worley’s no-hit bid was finally broken up on his 102nd pitch when an old nemesis, Hideki Matsui, stroked a two-out double on a 0-2 pitch that fell just beyond the out-stretched diving Shane Victorino in centerfield, bouncing to the wall. Worley came back to get Conor Jackson to line out to left to finish the sixth—and was the last batter Worley faced.
Worley gave way to David Herndon, who proceeded to give up a single on his seventh pitch.
A’s starter Guillermo Moscoso didn’t fair too badly himself. The right-hander pitcher also did not give up a hit through the first five innings, when Polanco stroked a one-out single to centerfield on Moscoso’s 78th pitch to break his no-hit bid.
Moscoso came out after the seventh, tossing 106 pitches and only yielding two hits, the Polanco single and a Domonic Brown single in the seventh. Otherwise, he kept the Phillies off balance for most of the night, and when the Phils were able to make contact, there was someone there to snag it.
Reported by: Joseph Santoliquito