After a horrific month of June, the Mets proved to be the cure for what has been ailing the Phillies. Even the great Johan Santana could not hold them down today. With little offense on either side, a pitching duel erupted and Joe Blanton emerged the victor. In perhaps his best outing of the year, Blanton nailed down 7 1/3 scoreless innings of 4-hit ball. Santana was not too shabby either; he allowed only 3 hits. But 2 of those hits won the ballgame for the Phillies. Jimmy Rollins led the game off with a home run and later, in the 6th inning, Chase Utley went deep to give the team a 2-0 lead, which was the final score. There were some spectacular defensive plays as well, which added to the drama. Overall, it was a very entertaining game for both teams.
Also noteworthy, Carlos Ruiz did start the game after a suspicious absence the last few games. I had speculated that he may have been possible trade bait, but he is still with us :O) Maybe Charlie Manuel was just giving him an extra long rest? That remains to be seen…
Before the game, the Phillies hosted their annual Father-Child wiffle ball game which can only be described as adorable! Little ones scattered the field, running amuck while their parents chased them around the bases. We have some awfully good-looking families in the Phillies organization. Take a deep breath; the cute is about to get out of control; (top to bottom, left to right) Ibanez Family; Greg Dobbs & daughter; Brad Lidge & baby; The Romero Family; Chad Durbin & son; Chan Ho Park’s baby:
Also announced today, the Phillies will send at least 3 players to the All-Star game in St. Louis; Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez were voted in as starters and Ryan Howard, as chosen by Manuel, will be a reserve, along with 3 other very deserving 1st basemen (Pujols, Fielder, A. Gonzalez)! Nice to see Charlie did not worry about positions as much as who deserved to be there. That is not usually the case with most managers who are chosen to pick players.
The Phillies centerfielder, Shane Victorino, also has a chance to go to St. Louis. He is one of 5 candidates to fill the final roster spot which will be voted on by the fans. Victorino is batting .300 with 5 homers, 35 RBI and 13 stolen bases so far this year. His defense has been outstanding as well. Please VOTE FOR SHANE! He deserves to be there!
Tomorrow, the Phillies begin a 4-game series with the Reds and Cole Hamels will attempt to put the spring back in his step. Game time is 7:05pm.
Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game and also the Father-Child game which includes the photos above and many more! Enjoy!
Photos by Jenn