Just being in the Rogers Centre in Toronto today, I could sense that it was going to be a big game. Fans on both sides were anxious to see Roy Halladay pitch. The Blue Jays fans wanted to welcome Roy back to Toronto and Phillies fans were salivating for another win.
With all the hype going into the game, no one could have anticipated the fireworks that were about to explode inside the dome.
Halladay got a standing ovation as he took the mound. It was a unifying moment between Jays fans and the many Phillies fans who traveled to another country to see their team play. But the moment lasted exactly that long; for only a moment.
The Phillies offense jumped on the Jays early, scoring a run, although they should have scored much more. But once Halladay began pitching, the game took on a new life. It turned into a rollercoaster battle with a number of lead changes.
The Jays rallied in the fifth after a Chase Utley throwing error turned an out into a triple. The Jays scored twice, but Utley made up for it my smashing a 2-run homer in the seventh to give the lead back to the Phils.
The defense was mostly solid, despite the one error and Jimmy Rollins even turned a double play to end the game.
But before that, all sorts of drama ensued in the ninth inning. First, a rabid fan ran onto the field and had to be hunted down by security. Why he had no shoes on is a mystery, but it was very entertaining:
And just when you thought the inning could not get any better, pitcher John Rauch issued a walk to Ryan Howard which he clearly did not think was a walk. He did not say anything though until the next batter, Shane Victorino, singled to score Utley:
Directly after the run scored, the 6’10” Rauch got in the umpires face and screamed at him. As Rauch was ejected, he lost his mind and went all Incredible Hulk on the ump, even having his jersey torn off in the process. Being that Rauch is big enough to be the Hulk, umpire Alfonso Marquez quickly realized that he did not like Rauch when he was angry ;o)
The Jays manager got into it next after helping to restrain Rauch and he too was ejected.
Fans quickly got on the umpire, tossing things onto the field and Marquez had to call security for extra assistance. But the game remained a 5-3 Phillies lead, despite all the hollering.
Halladay finally took the mound for the bottom of the ninth and closed out the game, going the distance once again. Over nine innings, he allowed just eight hits, three runs and struck out eight batters.
Here is the full Photo Album from the game. I will have photos after tomorrow’s game as well when Cliff Lee takes the mound and tries for a 3-game sweep of the Jays.
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography