PHILADELPHIA -- Welcome to National League baseball.
The White Sox outlasted the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night for a wacky 4-3 win in a 15-inning game that ended with Phillies outfielder Roman Quinn as the losing pitcher -- and that's just the beginning of the oddities that
PHILADELPHIA -- Welcome to National League baseball.
The White Sox outlasted the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night for a wacky 4-3 win in a 15-inning game that ended with Phillies outfielder Roman Quinn as the losing pitcher -- and that's just the beginning of the oddities that unfolded in this Interleague thriller.
• Box score
White Sox reliever Carson Fulmer logged his first plate appearance since high school -- and he did so against a position player pitching in the 14th inning of a tie game. That came shortly after Jose Abreu was thrown out at the plate as the potential go-ahead run by a pitcher playing left field.
"Oh my God," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said followed by an exhale. "Both clubs battled. They had to stick [Quinn] out there, and he did a nice job for them trying to keep it there. For us, it's a big win, because we've been going through a tough spell. Our guys did what they needed to do, and at the end of the day, we came out on top.”
Quinn pitched a scoreless 14th inning that included Abreu getting thrown out at home plate by Phillies pitcher Vince Velasquez. Velasquez, who entered as a pinch-runner in the 13th, fielded a James McCann one-out single and fired a 94.7 mph strike to the plate to cut down Abreu to preserve the 3-3 tie for the time being.
But wait, there's more.
The Phillies then intentionally walked Ryan Goins to bring up Fulmer, who not only had never stepped to the plate in any of his previous 37 big league appearances, but he also never logged a plate appearance in 102 games in the Minors nor in his 71 games at Vanderbilt. Fulmer started an Interleague game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 10 last season, but allowed five runs in only 1 2/3 innings, meaning he was removed before his spot in the order came to bat.
Yet there he was on Friday, batting with the game on the line. The White Sox had only one position player remaining at that point in Jon Jay, but Renteria acknowledged after the game that the outfielder was unavailable due to an abdominal issue.
That left it up to Fulmer. With runners on first and second with two outs, he ripped a 102.8 mph liner down the line, only to have Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco make a diving stop before getting to his feet and throwing to first for the out. Adding yet another twist to an already quirky inning, Fulmer came up limping after injuring himself running down the line, though Renteria said the White Sox are hoping it was only a cramp.
With Fulmer out of the game, Renteria turned it over to the last pitcher in his bullpen -- Josh Osich. The left-hander turned in a scoreless frame in the bottom of the 14th, giving the White Sox another crack at Quinn. After the first two batters in the 15th grounded out, Leury Garcia singled and Tim Anderson worked a four-pitch walk to put two on with two outs for Abreu, who ripped another single to Velasquez in left field.
The White Sox again elected to test Velasquez's arm, and though he uncorked a 95 mph throw this time around, Garcia slid in just ahead of the tag to score what proved to be the winning run.
"I saw the throw before -- that first throw that he made," Garcia said. "So I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to go.’ He almost got me. But I got him."
Osich, the White Sox ninth pitcher of the night, recorded the game's 90th and final out by striking out Quinn shortly after he was introduced by the PA announcer as "Phillies pitcher Roman Quinn."
"No matter what, a win always, always feels good," Osich said. "But it’s definitely nice when you grind out 15 innings and get the ‘W’. It feels a lot better than what they’re feeling on the other side."
Friday marked just the seventh time in franchise history that the White Sox used at least nine pitchers, and only the fifth time without expanded September rosters. The only time the team has ever used more than nine pitchers came on April 18 last season when the White Sox rolled out 10 hurlers in a 14-inning loss to the Athletics. Fulmer was the starting pitcher in that game, while Aaron Bummer -- who allowed one run in his lone inning of work Friday -- was the only other White Sox pitcher to appear in both contests.
"It was huge to close that out," Osich said. "You don’t want that game to keep going. We’ve got nobody else out there to pitch -- and they don’t either obviously. It could have just kept going like that all night."
Aside from Jay, the only other active players who did not enter the game for Chicago were its other four starting pitchers -- Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, Reynaldo Lopez and Ross Detwiler, who is scheduled to start Saturday.
"You try to do everything you can to win a ballgame on a particular day, and both of us tried to do everything we could to come out on top," Renteria said. "Fortunately, we did."
So at what point would “everything” have included turning to a position player on the mound?
"We had other options that we were going to go to, which would have affected us for tomorrow, which gives you an idea of what we were thinking of doing," Renteria said, hinting that Detwiler was next in line had the game continued. "But it didn’t get to that, so thankfully we’ll be all right."
Paul Casella is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.