Screen grab via (@PhillyPartyTwo)
Often times, books will start out with short parables or quotes that summarize the journey ahead. During the open to last night’s game, Tom McCarthy (for once) eloquently adumbrated the evening’s game:
The Phillies have dominated the Cincinnati Reds in victories lately, but not without a lot of sweating. A lot of games are decided in the early innings, but not between these two cross-division rivals. Clutch hits, dramatic late inning moments, and even a few walk-off memories mixed in, have spelled the results for the Reds and the Phils.
Holy Harold Camping, T-Mac the soothsayer! Puppies across the Delaware Valley were spun into a leg humping frenzies, while unemployed zealots wearing tin foil helmets devoured canned beets under grandma’s afghan. Yes, something weird was about to go down.
The game started off innocently enough. Ben Francisco made Charlie Manuel look like a genius, by opening the scoring with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first. That was about as normal as it got. The Phillies tacked on another run in the bottom of the second… But things were just getting started.
Michael Barkann and Ricky Bo cozy up for the long journey ahead
Everything progressed as normal – if you consider Roy Halladay blowing a three run lead “normal” – up until the 9th inning. It was at this point that I briefly flipped over to FOX to see which high school student would be dominating the talk show circuit for the next three days. To my horror, I’m fairly certain that I saw Lady Gaga having on-stage sex atop a plastic mountain ridge. That was the most expected part of the evening.
A few minutes later, with the Phillies trailing, 4-3, in the 10th, Ryan Howard tied the game with a monster home run to center field. It would be up to Kyle Kendrick to keep the score even in the 11th.
Kendrick, the assumed long man, retired one batter before hitting Brandon Phillips with a pitch. Charlie Manuel called on J.C. Romero to face the left-handed Joey Votto. Romero, who was much better when he was taking illegal supplements, promptly walked Votto, putting runners on first and second with one out.
Phillips did his best to make sure this one went deep into the night, however. With a 3-1 count on Scott Rolen, Phillips wandered off the base just long enough for Romero to pick him off.
Ah yes, the rare 11th inning 2nd base pickoff. Purists be damned.
Romero would then walk Rolen and Joey Votto, forcing Maneul to bring in Danys Baez, the only available pitcher remaining.
At some point during his outing, the crowd started to get punchy.
When a foul ball was hit into the mostly empty seats of the Diamond Club, this guy, let’s call him Mario, not only dove into an empty row for the $5 souvenir, but he also gleefully celebrated the fact that he had the cut to prove it.
At some point after that, the Phillies closed the 400 level, forcing the remaining masses to head down to better seats. Bad idea.
Whether they have a ticket or not, the folks who sit in direct camera view behind the dugouts need to be pre-screened. Perhaps a sobriety test and underwear check would be appropriate. In the span of two innings (the 14th and 15th), viewers were treated to this douchebag's oral-sex demonstration…
… his female friend grabbing her boobs…
… Monster t-shirt guy’s middle finger…
… and more cunilingus…
CSN LATE NIGHT!
Perhaps inspired by the newfound energy in the park, or by the barley-legal chick with huge breasteses, Baez strapped on his hero boots and demanded to stay in the game. [Delco Times]
"I said, 'No, give me a chance to go out there again,'" Baez said. "I knew the top of their lineup was coming up the next inning. I didn't want Valdez to have to face (those guys) and give the team another chance to win the ballgame."
In the words of the great Matt Gelb: Let’s get weird.
All throughout the extra frames, Jimmy Rollins fielded his position flawlessly. He backhanded balls in the hole with frightening regularity, causing Drew Stubbs to injure a poor Powerade jug and Dusty Baker to spew words that were becoming oddly appropriate for CSN Late Night.
With Baez finally out of gas, the Phils turned to Valdez, who took his role quite seriously. He shook off Dane Sardinha before getting Joey Votto to fly out. Ryan Howard weighed in on Wilson's weapons:
“It was funny because he started shaking him off. What is he about to throw? What does he have. And he threw him a sinker in, and I was like ‘oh, OK.’ But he got it done.”
After Valdez hit Scott Rolen with a curveball, he got the next two batters to fly out.
Raul Ibanez ended it in the 19th with a walk-off sacrifice fly.
Concluding bizarro night, Halladay delivered to the pie to the face of Valdez, who was trending worldwide on Twitter… just ahead of Tom Jones and American Idol winner Scotty McCreery.
It got weird.