The Phillies began a 3-game series tonight with the Arizona Diamondbacks who currently hold first place in the NL West. As expected, it was a very tight game between two very good teams.
With Roy Halladay coming in to the game with two extra days of rest due to a rain out and an off-day, things looked good for the Phillies. But while Halladay was solid through eight innings, he was unable to hold down a slim 2-1 lead in the ninth.
Halladay has completed so many games and held down so many leads in the past, it probably seemed right to hand him the opportunity again. But with no outs in the ninth, Halladay gave up two straight singles. Then Lyle Overbay, in only his second game with the D-Backs, smacked a bases clearing double to take a 3-2 lead. Overbay was a one-man wrecking crew, going 3-for-4 in the game with 3 RBI.
Prior to this, the Phillies had given away many opportunities on offense, which really put them into this jam. While most Phillies struggled at the plate, Halladay contributed two hits, including his first career extra-base hit with a double to right. But both times, Halladay advanced to third and was left stranded.
Chase Utley had three hits, but two of those came with two outs in the inning and all three times either Ryan Howard or Hunter Pence struck out after each of his hits. Pence left the bases loaded in the third inning for what was the Phillies best shot at breaking the game open.
In the bottom of the ninth, Carlos Ruiz walked and Michael Martinez bunted him over to start the inning for a potential comeback. But pinch hitter Ross Gload, who has not had a hit since July 28, struck out. Jimmy Rollins then struck out to end the game with a 3-2 loss.
Halladay has come through for this team too many times to be counted. It was a real shame that his teammates could not bail him out the one time he needed the help.
The Pence streak was also broken today. Previously, if Pence did not hit the Phillies did not win and vice versa. Tonight, Pence had a hit, but the Phillies did not win. Well, it was fun while it lasted.
Before the game today, the Phillies unveiled the new Harry Kalas statue outside of Harry The K’s at the ballpark. The unveiling was originally scheduled for this past Sunday, but the game was rained out.
Jimmy Rollins and former Phillies ace, Steve Carlton, presided over the unveiling. The memorial sculpture was requisitioned by and paid for by Phillies fans and given as a gift to the Phillies in Harry’s honor. It features Harry holding a microphone while leaning on a baseball bat and he is wearing his 2008 World Series ring.
The statue is a testament to how loved and respected Kalas was in Philadelphia and the impact he had on many lives. While he will always be missed, this sculpture is a beautiful way to keep Harry in both our hearts and in the ballpark, right where he belongs.
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