The Phillies held a memorial service at the ballpark today for Harry Kalas, which they shared with the fans, as well as Harry’s friends and family. Fans were able to pass by Harry’s casket, which sat on the field behind home plate, and were then seated to watch the services. This beautiful and extremely moving program included speeches from Mike Schmidt, Richard Ashburn, Mayor Michael Nutter, Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer, and many other friends of Harry. The entire Phillies team attended the memorial, first passing by the casket to pay their respects, and then sitting in the stands behind home plate. Phillies of the past were also in attendance, including Steve Carlton, Greg Luzinski, Larry Christianson, Garry Maddox, Robin Roberts and many more.
The big tear-jerker of the day came when all Phillies players, past and present, were asked to take the field; they lined up two by two and literally lifted Harry’s casket and passed it down the line through each others hands until they reached the hearse. Those players at the end of the line, including Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Brett Myers, Carlos Ruiz and others, gently placed the casket into the rear of the hearse and everyone watched as Harry was driven out of the ballpark. Many were unable to contain their emotions and tears flowed freely. When I saw Shane Victorino crying, who just lost his grandmother in October, my heart sunk. To think what all these players have gone through this week, as well as everyone who knew Harry, is just heartbreaking.
What a tragic start to the 2009 season for the Phillies, who all seem to be downtrodden by this turn of events. All we can hope now is that they can filter those emotions into a positive, and dedicate their season to Harry’s memory.
The Phillies have lost 3 in a row now with tonight’s 8-5 loss to the Padres, despite a great outing from Brett Myers. Myers notched a quality start with 6 2/3 innings pitched and 3 runs allowed; he even contributed with a double at the plate and a run scored. But for the 2nd night in a row, Ryan Madson came in and gave the Padres the lead with one run allowed in the 8th. Chase Utley tied the game up again in the bottom of the inning with a lead-off home run to right.
Raul Ibanez followed with single and then his amazing base running landed him on 3rd base after a Jayson Werth single. With one out, Pedro Feliz collected the RBI on sac fly and Ibanez crossed home plate, giving the lead to the Phillies, 5-4. But that lead would not hold for long.
Brad Lidge, as expected, pitched the 9th inning, hoping to remain perfect in save opportunities. After receiving his award before the game for that perfect 2008 record, Lidge finally blew a save tonight, ending his streak of 47 in a row. And he didn’t just blow it; he really, really blew it. In 2/3 of an inning, Lidge gave up 4 runs, the majority of which came on a Kevin Kouzmanoff 3-run homer. That inning really took the wind out of the sails for the Phillies, and they went down easily in the bottom of the 9th.
Tomorrow’s game against the Padres will begin at 1:35pm with Chan Ho Park on the mound. I will be there, and hopefully, the Phillies can get things back on track. Maybe the Phanatic’s birthday celebration will lighten the mood? One can only hope…
Photos by Jenn
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