Let The Healing (And The Winning) Begin!

After a highly emotional week with the passing of our beloved Harry Kalas, the Phillies showed signs of recovering today as they pulled out a 5-4 win over the Padres in dramatic fashion.  Raul Ibanez did his version of the “laying on of hands” by smacking a 2-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning.  And as payment for this great, selfless act of guru-like healing, Ibanez got a shaving cream pie in the face.  Perhaps he would have preferred a bouquet of flowers?  Actually, I am sure he did not mind too much; the pie to the face is much like a fraternity initiation; after taking Pat Burrell’s spot on the club, he is now officially a member.  Ibanez has won over the fans and more importantly, his teammates.  Still miss ya Pat, but Ibanez is getting the job done.Ibanez walk-off.jpg

Also getting things done around here is Ryan Howard, who had, and seriously, I never imagined writing this….he had an amazing day defensively!  Stop rubbing your eyes; Howard’s glove has arrived!  And not a moment too soon for the grieving Phils who desperately needed a win.  Howard made 3 incredible plays today including a J-Roll-style diving grab and a running catch in foul territory.  Last year, he would not have made those plays.  This year, the missing 20 pounds plus the extra effort spent working on his the fielding has paid off.  Not only that, but his bat is red hot!  Howard went 3 for 4 today, including the hit that set up Ibanez for the walk-off.

Howard fielding.jpg

The other hitter to watch this week is Chase Utley; he has now hit a home run in each of the last 3 games, including today’s 2-run shot in the 6th.  Looks like Utley is locked in a ready to do some serious damage….I hope!  Jimmy Rollins had the day off as Eric Bruntlett stood in, but he made one pinch-hit appearance and that would up being a solo shot in the 8th.  It was his first career pinch-hit home run and only his 2nd successful pinch-hit in 14 tries.  Perhaps the wheels are back on for J-Roll?  We shall see…

As for the pitching, JA Happ was the star of the day, coming in on relief for Chan Ho Park and pitching 3 scoreless innings.  Park had another rough outing and lasted just 5 innings, giving away 4 runs on 8 hits and a walk.  Makes you wonder, how many more sub-par outings will the Phillies allow from Park before they stick him in the pen and give the spot to Happ?  Frankly, I felt Happ earned the spot in Spring, but the powers that be figured he would be thrilled to make the club either way, whereas Park made a VERY big deal out of being a starter.  Not wanting to lose Park mentally may have factored into the decision.  Park did perform very well in Spring, but if you look beyond stats, Happ was equal or better and it made more sense from a management standpoint to give the 5th spot to Happ.  So, I am just going to pull a Forrest Gump here and say, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

Today was also a celebration of the Phanatic’s Birthday, which is always a treat for the fans.  This year, many of the Phanatic’s friends joined the party as well a magician, Michael Grandinetti.  The magician did a few tricks with the Phanatic, including making him appear out of nowhere…impressive.  And there was a birthday cake made entirely out of Tastycakes…Mmmmm!  Here are some photos from those events:

Phantic b-day 09.jpg

The Phillies conclude their series with the Padres tomorrow night at 7:05pm with the elder, Jamie Moyer on the mound.  In the meantime, enjoy the Photo Album from today’s game.

Photos by Jenn

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2 Comments

Jenn – I’m so glad that the Phillies got the win today! Hopefully it will help with the healing process for all the Phillies’ fans. I saw a video of the pie in the face and yes, I think that he enjoyed it. Loved all the birthday photos!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Mmm, Tastycakes! If only I could have had a wedding cake made of them…the chocolate ones with buttercream icing are my favorites!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

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