Phillies beat Reds in 19 as infielder Wilson Valdez earns victory

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Wilson Valdez threw a hitless 19th inning and became the first position player since Colorado’s Brent Mayne in 2000 to record a victory as the Phillies beat the Reds 5-4 in 19 innings Wednesday.

The game was the longest in the majors since the Mets edged the Cardinals 2-1 in 20 innings on April 17, 2010.

The game was tied 3-3 after nine.  Jay Bruce homered in the top of the 10th, but Ryan Howard came back with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning, denying Francisco Cordero his 300th career save.

Vadez played 18 innings at second base and went 3-for-6 before moving to the mound.   The contest also featured Carlos Ruiz’s second career appearance at third base and two very long relief appearances.

Valdez took over after Danys Baez, the last man in the Philadelphia pen, pitched five scoreless innings.  Reds reliever Carlos Fisher matched Baez, throwing five scoreless innings of his own before giving up a run in his sixth inning of work.  Fisher ended up throwing a whopping 95 pitches in relief.

Working the top of the 19th, Valdez gave up a long shot to center to Joey Votto to begin the inning, but it was hauled in by Manny Martinez.  He then hit Scott Rolen with a pitch before Jay Bruce flied out and Fisher popped out.

The game ended with Raul Ibanez’s sac fly with one out in the bottom of the 19th.

No one had pulled off Valdez’s feat in 11 years.  Mayne was the last to do it, pitching a scoreless 12th inning as the Rockies beat the Braves 7-6 on Aug. 22, 2000.  Rockies manager Buddy Bell managed to run through nine pitchers in 11 innings in that one.

Report: Christian Yelich’s relationship with Marlins ‘irretrievably broken’

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Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.

Longo said,

They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.

The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.

He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.

This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.

Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.