A 7-3 win for the Phillies over the Cardinals on Sunday night ended the series with each team taking 2 out of 4 games. It was a very long game, on a very cold night with a virtual buffet of interesting and weird happenings.
It all began with the Phanatic’s birthday bash/movie premiere (Time Traveling Phanatic DVD) which was highlighted by faux Hollywood stars and actors from the movie. I am sure all the parent who brought, or were going to bring, their kids to this fun event were less than thrilled about ESPN moving the game from 1:35pm to 8:05pm on a school night. The fun went on, but there were not too many people there to see it.
Then Kyle Kendrick took the mound and, once again, he struggled early. But Kendrick seems to have this routine down now; he tosses a boat-load of pitches early, gets in and out of trouble and eventually comes out with a quality start. In this case, he allowed only 2 runs in 6 innings. The extra drama does seem to motivate him lately.
The Phillies looked like they might get their bats going again in the first inning. Starting with a Jimmy Rollins triple, they scored two runs. But that inning also launched a very strange night for Chase Utley. Apparently forgetting there was only one out, Utley ran from second to home on a fly ball by Michael Young and was doubled up before he even realized the blunder.
The Utley Sunday night adventure did not end there. He later ran past second base on a ground-rule double, thinking it was a home run when it actually just bounced over the outfield wall. And then Utley threw away a fairly routine ground ball in the 7th which sailed past Ryan Howard. That same runner later scored, giving the Cardinals a 3-2 lead.
Utley did have 2 hits on the night, but where his head was all night long is a mystery. Perhaps he was just getting it all out of his system and will now be error-free the rest of the year? One can only hope…
The crowd was restless most of the night. The game was dragging (3 ½ hours long!), it was getting colder and later, the defense was not great and the offense died again after that run in the first inning. Both Young and Ben Revere hit into double plays to kill rallies. People were shouting not-so-nice things at players all night long. It was a bit depressing. This team has not given fans a lot to cheer about lately.
But the Phillies finally found redemption in the bottom of the 8th inning; the biggest redemption was for Revere. With 1 out and runners on the corners, Revere singled to center to put the Phils ahead. Catcher Erik Kratz, who was batting a paltry .192 coming into the game, then smashed a 3-run homer to give the Phillies a 7-3 lead which led to the win. Whew!
In other weird news, the Phillies have called up 22-year old Jonathan Pettibone to make a spot start tonight since John Lannan is on the DL. This is weird because, in 2 starts this season in Triple-A, Pettibone has a 9.64 ERA. I guess there was no one else available? It should be an interesting night; either he will get destroyed very early by the Pirates or he will totally surprise everyone. Good luck to him!
And here is the full Photo Album from Sunday’s game.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography