The Phillies have 99 problems but 100 losses ain’t one. Sorry, could not resist. So yeah, the Phillies escaped the dreaded 100 loss season today by the skin of their teeth with a 7-2 win over the Marlins that included many odd and interesting moments. For starters, Roy Halladay made an appearance on Phantavision with his stuffed Chooch pillow to congratulate Carlos Ruiz on being honored for the four no-hitters he has caught for the Phillies. Charlie Manuel joined Chooch on the field to celebrate.
A few not-so-great moments occurred once the game began. For example, Jeff Francour missed what appeared to be a routine fly ball to give the Marlins a lead. And as if so disgusted by his play, a bird apparently committed suicide and had to be carted off the field by Phillies security personnel.
But things began to brighten up when it started looking like David Buchanan might actually get a win. Not only did he pitch well, he also had 2 hits in the game and scored a run.
Suddenly, players began smiling and sliding into bases and collecting extra base hits. When you sit through a 99-loss season, seeing this in the last game of the season was somewhat miraculous.
But the strangest part of the day had to be seeing future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki make his major league pitching debut in the 8th inning. Apparently, it was a long-time dream of Ichiro’s to pitch so he asked his manager to put him in. It was a treat for the crowd as well. Ichiro gave up 1 run to the Phillies on 2 doubles; he tossed a total of 18 pitches.
So after a very bad season, the Phillies end on a high note. And they also get the 1st round draft pick as well for being so awful. Bonus. Here is the Photo Album from the game. Also, here is another album for anyone who is interested; I took a tour of Petco Park in San Diego last month. There was a charity event that day so the field was littered with stationary bikes, but the view is still cool.
I also took some video today of Halladay’s speech, Cody Asche addressing the crowd and a few other things. I hope to have that uploaded in the next week or so. Goodnight for now!
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Photos by Jenn Zambri
Today the Phillies chose their 53rd manager by promoting Pete Mackanin from Interim Manager to the permanent role…at least for the next year. Pete played for the Phillies in the late 1970’s and is now the 8th person to have managed, coached and played for the team. Larry Bowa, who is the current bench coach, is also a member of that club.
This move is not a surprise. The team really began to come to life after Mackanin took over when Ryne Sandberg ran off. While youth, trades and injuries have made it impossible for them to win much, the Phillies have at least looked like a team that is trying since Mackanin was put in charge. He has also kept the youngsters in line, like when he benched Odubel Herrera this past Sunday for throwing a tantrum after an at-bat. Herrera seems to have taken the lesson to heart and apologized to Mackanin earlier today. This is a good sign that Mackanin can bridge the gap with this team from awful to, hopefully, competing again in a few years.
So, totally off topic, I recently went to Los Angeles to a Dodgers game to see Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins play in blue uniforms. I took a tour of the stadium before hand, which was very interesting. The stadium itself is huge and not easy to find your way around, but Emma from Dodger Blue World was nice enough to give me a quick tour of the upper deck, which was very cool. The view from above is amazing! Thank you, Emma!
The game itself was a very strange one. The guy sitting next to me said he had been going to Dodgers games for 30 years and that day was the first time it had rained while he was there. Yes, I went all the way to L.A. to get rained on. So by the 4th inning, the camera was put away for good as I did not bring my usual Philly rain gear. But I did manage to get some pictures before the 16 INNING ordeal ended. Yes, 16 innings….and the Dodgers lost. But I had photos to Chase and J-Roll to cheer me up! I also saw Davy Lopes and….believe it or not…GREG DOBBS! I have no idea why he was there watching the game, but I got a shot of him too. It was an ex-Phillies reunion.
If anyone is interested, here is the full Photo Album from the pre-game tour and the start of the game. I also visited Petco Park in San Diego, but am still working on those photos; I will post those in the next week or so. In the meantime, it looks like the Phillies might actually win a game tonight….shhhh! I should not say that too loudly. Cross your fingers that the Marlins stay quiet.