Tuesday night’s Phillies – Giants game was one of the most exciting games I have been to in a long time. And the excitement started before the game even began. About an hour before the start time, the Giants announced that Barry Zito would pitch in place of ace Tim Lincecum, who had the flu.
At first, this was disappointing. Seeing Lincecum pitch is really fun with his odd delivery and demeanor on the mound. But with Zito, there was certainly a better chance for the Phillies to win the game.
Vance Worley started for the Phillies and did an amazing job. He kept his pitch count low and used all sides of the plate with good location to confuse the Giants. Zito did not fare as well; perhaps his super-tight pants were cutting off his circulation? You be the judge:
Worley was backed by some great Phillies offense, including four home runs. Raul Ibanez, Ryan Howard, John Mayberry Jr. and Chase Utley all took part in the home run parade. The defense was hot as well, with many great leaping plays, especially the one from Ibanez (top right) who scaled the wall in the ninth inning to help out Worley:
But the biggest homer of the night was of the inside-the-park variety from Utley. He smashed a ball into center which kicked around enough that Utley never stopped running. It was a close play, but he was safe. And another rare thing occurred right afterwards; Utley smiled…during a game. Yes, shocking, I know. Here is some of the sequence from the homer:
Former Phillie Aaron Rowand made a short appearance in the game as a pinch hitter in the 8th. He strutted to the plate looking determined to show how much he loves hitting in this ballpark. I told the guy next to me, “Watch…one pitch and he’ll homer.” No kidding…it happened. Must be that “interesting”…ahem!…stance of his:
But as Rowand enjoyed his time travel to the past, Worley was not phased. That run made the score 6-2 and in the bottom of the inning, Howard’s homer bumped the lead to 7-2.
Worley finished the game with just two runs allowed on three hits with 114 pitches. He and catcher Brian Schneider celebrated his 1st career complete game and afterwards, even Roy Halladay shared an appreciative laugh with the young pitcher:
Here is the full Photo Album from the game.
Game #2 is Wednesday at 7:05pm. Cole Hamels will face a mystery pitcher for the Giants…no word on that yet.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography