We are sorry for ruining your holiday. Perhaps next year, you can play the Mets on Canada Day instead. Sincerely,
So yes, the Phillies pulled off an improbable 7-6 comeback win today against the Blue Jays, amidst holiday festivities. Canadians take this day very seriously; everything was closed and parties were all over the place. Even Wal-Mart was closed. Know you know how important this day was for Canada. No Wal-Mart…I shudder at the thought.
The festivities also included a pre-game celebration:
And then former Blue-Jay Roy Halladay was asked to present the line-up card for the Phillies and go over the ground rules, like the coach normally does. The Toronto fans gave him a loud standing ovation.
One fan told me the reason they love Halladay so much was not because he is an awesome pitcher, but because he always gave 110% even when the team sucked for all those years. He never slacked off, even though they were not winning.
Also part of the celebration, all players and even the mascots wore jerseys that said “Canada” on the back instead of their names:
The match-up of Kyle Kendrick and Ricky Romero looked ominous as Kendrick plunked the first batter he faced. Yunel Escobar wound up having to leave the game with a badly bruised hand and Kendrick proceeded to give up a bunch of runs.
But while Kendrick faltered, the Phillies offense battled back and by the seventh inning they had a 5-4 lead after a Shane Victorino triple and then a sac fly from Ben Francisco scored two runs.
The defense on both sides was a bit sloppy, but the Phillies were able to recover.
The Jays then landed what looked like a knock-out blow in the bottom of the seventh. With a 5-4 lead and 2 outs, Kendrick made a huge mistake to slugger Jose Bautista who deposited the ball over the fence in left.
With the air out of the balloon and now losing by 6-5, it looked like Kendrick had blown the game. But the Phillies mustered a comeback in the ninth. Placido Polanco walked, Chase Utley doubled and then Ryan Howard served up a 2 RBI-single to give the Phils a 7-6 lead.
Antonio Bastardo sent the shell-shocked Jays down in order in the bottom of the ninth for the save. And now, they Jays have to contend with Halladay and Cliff Lee in the next two games. I like the chances for the Phillies.
Here is the full Photo Album from the game. More photos to come after tomorrow’s game as well!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies had a chance to sweep the Red Sox today in this 3-game series, but once Cole Hamels was pulled early, that opportunity passed by. In the fourth inning, a line-drive from Adrian Gonzalez knocked the glove off Hamels’ non-pitching hand. He exited the game to receive treatment.
The injury is being called a bruise but it is unclear if Hamels will make his next start. It will depend on whether or not he can grip his glove and bat.
So the game was handed over to a very young, inexperienced bullpen. David Herndon allowed three runs over two innings. Then Drew Carpenter gave up two more.
But the bullpen’s performance really made little difference as the Phillies mustered only four hits in the game and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. The only scoring was a 2-run bomb from Ryan Howard in the ninth inning.
The lack of offense is gruesome as usual. And with pitchers dropping like flies, the Phillies may have to lean on their bats in the near future. So, someone better figure out where they hid those bats…fast.
This weekend, the Phillies face the Blue Jays for three games and I am here in Toronto to bring you all the torrid details. Kyle Kendrick pitches tomorrow but Saturday is a big one. It will be the first time Roy Halladay pitches against his old team in Toronto.
The people of Toronto are so excited to see Roy Halladay again, the local TV station is even running a promo about it detailing Halladay’s time in Toronto and how much he meant to the city. The ad encourages fans to come to the game and cheer for Halladay to welcome him back. It is a real class move by Toronto. However, I assume the cheering will stop once Halladay starts mowing down Jays.
Tomorrow is also Canada Day here, which celebrates the country’s independence from the United Kingdom. I find it odd, however, that their currency still bears the Queen’s image on their $20 bill. I would tell you who is on the $100 dollar bill, but sadly, I don’t have any of those ;o)
But I digress…anyway, check back for updates on the games and, of course, photos! Speaking of which, here is one I took of Niagara Falls before I headed over to Toronto:
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography