In this 3-game series against a very good Red Sox team, the Phillies managed to escape with one win yesterday. The game did not start out great, as JA Happ struggled in the 2nd inning and gave up 4 runs, including back-to-back homers. But Happ went to his Happ-Y place and recovered nicely; although he walked 6 and allowed 5 runs total, Happ still managed to pitch though almost 6 innings to give the bullpen a much needed rest.
The Phillies offense battled back and scored 4 runs in the 5th and then 6 in the 7th inning. Singles by Pedro Feliz, Chris Coste and Chase Utley and a double from Ryan Howard led the charge in the 5th. Then in the 7th, Jimmy Rollins emerged from his slump and hit a lead-off home run. The rest of the team jumped on his back, decided to Hang Ten and ride the wave for 6 more runs which included 2 of those runs scored after Sox pitching hit J-Roll in his 2nd at-bat of the inning and then issued a walk to Shane Victorino all with the bases loaded to force in runs. The game ended with a score of 11-6; the exact same score of the previous day’s game, but this time, it was in the Phillies favor.
So the Phillies get a break from baseball today, but Jamie Moyer and many other players will do their part for charity tonight at the Philly Celebrity Waiters Dinner at the ballpark. Benefiting the Moyer Foundation’s Camp Erin, which assists children in distress, many players will don aprons and serve food and drink to Philly locals in an effort to raise money for the cause. It is always nice to see athletes using their free time to help the community. Now just try not to drop a serving tray on anyone’s head… ;O)
Tuesday night, the Phillies will host the Toronto Blue Jays for some more nerve-wracking interleague play. Cole Hamels will take the mound at 7:05pm and Phillies fans will get to say hello to a few old friends; Scott Rolen and Rod Barajas. So I know how Philly fans feel about Rolen, who publicly criticized the team years ago when he left, but he is still a cutie. Please try to be gracious and not boo him…asking too much? Oh well.
Last night, the MLB Network premiered its new reality TV series, “The Pen,” which will follow the Phillies bullpen from Spring Training all the way to the All-Star break this year. Last night’s episode gave a behind the scenes look at how pitchers are evaluated in Spring Training, how the 5th starter was chosen, what some of the players do in their free time with their kids and family, the impact of losing Harry Kalas and everything in between. They even showed the agony that JA Happ went through when he had to call home to tell his family that Chan Ho Park was given the 5th spot and that he was unsure if he would make the team. Cameras followed him as he sat on his bed in the hotel and made the phone call. Gut wrenching, emotion stuff. It was absolutely outstanding and after the hour was up, I was sad that it had to end. But luckily, a new episode will air every Sunday night. Make sure to tune in!
Rollins Photo – Jenn