Tagged: Aaron Boone

Final Countdown to the Playoffs: Game 2: Repeat! Repeat! The Phillies defeat the Nationals, 4-3, winning their second straight divisional title.

The Phillies held on to defeat the Nationals, 4-3, to win their second straight Eastern Division Championship. The Phillies would take the lead in the fourth, as, with runners on the corners and no one out, Pat Burrell would hit a foul ball sacrifice fly, scoring Chase Utley, who has earlier singled and would go to third on Ryan Howard’s single, giving the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. Three batters later, with the bases loaded and still one out, Carlos Ruiz would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Howard, who would go to second on Shane Victorino’s single, and would then move up to third on Pedro Feliz’s walk, while Victorino would move up to second on the walk, giving the Phillies a 2-0 lead. The Nationals would cut the Phillies’ lead down to 2-1 in the fifth, as, with a runner on second and two outs, Anderson Hernandez would hit a RBI double, scoring Roger Bernadina, who has earlier singled and would move on to second on Nationals’ starter John Lannan’s sacrifice bunt, 1-4. The Phillies would get that run back in their half of the fifth as Jayson Werth would hit a lead-off solo home run, his twenty-fourth home run of the year, giving the Phillies a 3-1 lead. In the sixth, the Nats would threaten to score as they would get their first two hitters, Ryan Zimmerman and Lastings Milledge, on base with singles, with Milledge’s being a bunt single that succeeded because Moyer has broken originally towards third base at the end of his delivery, before he was unable to grab the ball, putting Nats runners on first and second. But Moyer would then get out of the inning by getting first Elijah Dukes and then Aaron Boone to fly out to center and then getting Wil Nieves to strike out swinging. In the eighth inning, the Nats would make it close as, with runners on second and third, and no one out, Milledge would hit a sacrifice fly on a great play made by Jimmy Rollins for the inning’s first out, as Cristian Guzman, who has earlier singled and would go to third on Zimmerman’s double, would score during the collision between Rollins and a sliding Victorino, in which they would hit their right shins together, making it 3-2 Phils. As Rollins walk back to his position, walking it off, Victorino would lie on his back for a while, before he finally got back up and then walked it off as well, before the game resumed. Ryan Madson, who was pitching in relief of Chad Durbin, who, in turn, had pitched the seventh in relief of Phillies’ starter Jamie Moyer, would end the inning by first getting Dukes to ground out, 6-4, and then getting Boone to strike out swinging. The Phillies would get that run back as, with a runner on first and two outs, Feliz would hit a RBI double, scoring Victorino, who has earlier singled and would run all the way home, making it 4-2 Phillies. The ball is then given to Brad Lidge to close it out. After striking out Emilio Bonifacio, he would give up a single to Bernadina. Pinch hitter Ryan Langerhans would than get on base with a walk, moving Bernadina up to second. Hernandez would follow with a RBI single, scoring Bernadina and sending Langerhans to second, making it 4-3 Phillies. Guzman would then single, moving Langerhans and Hernandez both up a base, as the bases are now loaded. The next batter, Zimmerman, would then hit a ground ball that tried to go into right center field for a hit. Rollins would stop the ball, and then threw it perfectly to Utley for the inning’s second out, wiping out Hernandez. Utley then threw a high throw that was brought down by Howard, beating out a slow running Zimmerman for the game’s final out on a double play and would lead to the start of the Phillies’ celebration of their second straight National League Eastern Division Championship, won at home for only the second time in the Phillies’ history.

Jamie Moyer would get the win, in the process tying Nolan Ryan’s record for the most games won by a 45 years old pitcher, as he went six innings, giving up only one earned run on six hits. His record is now 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA. Chad Durbin would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Ryan Madson would pitch an inning, giving up one earned run on two hits. Brad Lidge would pitch an inning, as he gave up an earned run on three hits as he recorded his forty-first save in forty-one attempts. John Lannan would get the lost, as he pitched five innings, giving up three earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 9-15 with a 3.91 ERA. Steven Shell would pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Mike Hinckley would pitch an inning and a third, giving up no runs on no hits. Garrett Mock would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits.

 With the victory, the Phillies have captured their seventh National League Eastern Division pennant in the team’s 126 years history, and their first two consecutive divisional crowns since they have won three Eastern Division pennants back in 1976-1978. This is the first time that they have entered the postseason for two straight seasons since the 1980-1981 seasons. Jamie Moyer, for the second straight season, has pitched the Phillies into the playoffs with his strong six innings outing. Every regular, except for Carlos Ruiz, would get at least one hit, while Shane Victorino would go 3 for 4, all singles, and scoring what would turn out to be the game winning run.

The 2008 Eastern Divisional Champion Phillies (91-70) will be playing their last regular season game tomorrow afternon, Fan Appreciation Day, against the Nationals (59-101). The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will begin at 1:35 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter, thank to the clinching, will be J.A. Happ (1-0, 3.90), who is coming off a no-decision against the Braves on September 21, as he went six and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 6-2 win, instead of their ace Cole Hamels, who will now be given the day off. He has faced the Nationals once before, pitching an inning in relief against them on September 1, as he gave up no runs on one hit, in the Phillies’ 7-4 lost. In four starts, he is 1-0 with three no-decisions, all of which would be won by the Phillies, with an ERA of 2.28. He will be trying for his second major league win tomorrow afternoon. His opponent will be Odalis Perez (7-11, 4.27), who is coming off a lost to the Padres on September 21, as he went six innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Nationals’ 6-2 lost. In his last appearance against the Phillies on September 3, he pitched a no-decision, going five innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits, in the Nationals’ 9-7 win. He will be trying to improve his record and end the Nationals’ season on a high note.

The Phillies are still ahead of the Mets by two games, as they defeated the Marlins. In the Wild Card race, the Mets and the Brewers are once again tied for the wild card lead as the Brewers lost to the Cubs. The Wild Card race will now go down to the wire between the Mets and the Brewers with the magic number for both being at 2. The Phillies will more than likely be resting most of their regulars tomorrow, while waiting to see who their opponent will be in the National League Divisional Series.


Live Journal: Went to the Ballpark today…

Originally posted April 29, 2007:

I left my apartment late this morning, around about 11:50, to get to Citizens Bank Park to see the Marlins-Phillies game. I went to 46th and Market St. to catch the elevated train to go east. Luckily for me, an el train was siiting on the track, waiting for passegers, so I got on it. I sat down in a seat and waited for it to start. It did so after a while and I stayed on it until it reached the 15th Street stop. I then got up, got out of the train and walked down the corridor to catch a Broad Street Subway train heading south. I waited for the train to arrive along with several other people. After the train finally appeared, I got on it and sat down as it headed south towards Pattison Avenue and the South Philly Sports Complex.

A few minutes and several stops later, the train arrived at the Pattison Avenue stop. I got off it and walk to the stairs which led back to the street. As I reached the top step I saw a clock with gave the time of my arrival: 12:23 pm, which meant that I got there before our agreed upon 12:30 meeting time.

After exiting the train stop, I’d walked along Pattison Avenue towards Citizens Bank Park, along with everyone else who was obviously headed towards the game. As I’d walked, I saw Pattison Avenue to my right, with a parking lot placed to my left. While I continued walking, I quickly noticed that I was soon passing a statue. The statue featured a football player who was obviously a defensive player getting ready to tackle a runner, which quickly reminded me that at one time there was another ballpark in the area where the parking lot was now, old Veterans Stadium, where not only the Phillies played, but also the Philadelphia Eagles, who were now playing in Lincoln Financial Field which was across the street from Citizens Bank Park. As I continued walking, I soon approached a Memorial Block which gave a short history of the late Veterans Stadium and the reason for why it was given its name: it was in honor of those who had fallen defending this country by the time the old stadium had opened in April 1971. Almost as soon as I’d walked past it, I’d saw, across Pattison Avenue, the Wachovia Spectrum, where the Sixers and Flyers used to played their games. I’d soon noticed that there was a banner above the entrance which explained that the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus was presently there. Interesting, I thought. The Circus was in town. Anyway, as I continued walking, I approached another marker, this one giving information on when the Vet opened and who were the city’s Mayor and the state’s Governor at the time of its opening. Soon after that, I’d reached another marker, this one set up by the city’s Historical Commission which gave a short history of the Stadium. A little bit further, and I walked before an old friend from the days of the Vet: A statue which showed an infielder about to catch a baseball as a runner slid into base. Not too long after that, I saw across the street the present home of the Sixers and Flyers, The Wachovia Center and near to that, Lincoln Financial Field. A short time after that I’d walked past the entrance to the parking lot and then soon crossed the street. As I did so, my final destination was finally in my sight: Citizen’s Bank Park.

As I looked at the outside of the park, I’d quickly noticed that I was near the third base side of the park. Since I was told during a phone call last night that we were to meet at the Studio and Club entrance – Home Plate (which was along Pattison Avenue), I’d continued walking on. After a while I’d finally arrived at the entrance. But, I didn’t see my brother, Scott, (who had earlier gone to South Street to trade in his Game Cube and a couple of games he was no longer player for the new Nintendo Wii) or our friend Philip and his family. So, I’d decided to wait for them near the entrance. After a while, I went looking for a pay phone, to call my friend Philip on his cellphone to find out if they might be late. I soon found one and placed .50 into it. After dialing the number, which was set for the Lehigh Valley area, the coins came back. After taking back the change and hearing a greeting (recorded, of course) from Verizon, I was told to deposit .90. At that time, I’d balked, since I needed all of the change I had at the moment. Well, I went back to the entrance and waited again. I was soon joined by my brother, who’d showed up with his new Wii. He’d told me that he’d been waiting for about an hour (he’d left the apartment around 10:30 so that he could get to South Street to go to the store, which opened at 11:00, so that he could get the Wii as it was first comes, first serve.) at the park’s third base side. I told him that we were suppose to be at the home plate side and I then told him that Philip and his family haven’t arrived yet. We waited for a bit, then I told him that I would go to a pay phone and call Philip to find out where he and his family were, which I did. This time, I made the call, and after about two rings, he picked up. Philip told me that they were now in the parking lot and would arrive soon. I’d told him that we would be waiting for them at the agreed place. So, I hung up the phone and rejoined my brother. I told him that Philip and family would be joining us soon. A short time later, Philip and his family arrived: Philip, his father, his mother and his brother. After introductions were made, we were shown our tickets, given them and then we headed for the home plate entrance. As we entered the park, we each had a sticker wrapped around our left wrist, which said on them: Diamond Club * April 29, 2007 * Diamond Club, along with a number. My number was 19230. We then continued on, going into the diamond club to eat lunch.

After ordering our lunch, we were each given a ticket to pick up our meal. I then went and picked up my lunch. Lunch for me consisted of a very thick hamburger, to which I added a piece of lettuce and some ketchup and a sliced pickle, and a cup of Sprite. I later got a second cup of Sprite after I’d finished eating my hamburger and pickle slice, and before we headed out to the stand to go to our seats, along with my brother and Philip.

After we’d asked one of the staffer to tell us where our seats were located, we walked over to our seats which were placed on the third base side of home plate on ground level. Hhhhmmm, smell that real live grass, not like the artificial surface of old Vet Stadium. We then sat down. My seat was seat #4, in the six row of section B. After we’d arrive, we saw the last part of the Phanatic’s birthday celebration. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that this was the Phanatic’s birthday? Well, it is. 🙂 Anyway, we then rosed for a moment of silent as we were informed of the death of former Phillies’ and present (late) St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher, Josh Hancock, who was killed earlier today in a car accident in St. Louis as well as informing us that tonight’s Cubs-Cardinals game was being cancelled in his honor. After that, the national anthem was sung. We were soon joined by Philip’s parents and brother, and started to watch the game. Not too long after that, the game started, with Jamie Moyer (2-1) starting for the Phils.

Moyer ended the inning quickly, getting the Marlins to go down one-two-three. The Phils half of the 1st had them facing the Marlin’s starter, Wes Obermueller (1-0). The first Phils batter he faced, Jimmy Rollins got on base with a single. He then stole second base, the first of four for the Phils, after Shane Victorino had flied out to right. After the steal, Chase Utley stroked a single, which scored Rollins, giving the Phils a quick 1-0 lead. The game then developed into a pitcher’s duel, with Moyer only getting into a bit of trouble in the fourth inning, where he walked Hanley Ramirez on four pitches. I’d thought that was going to lead into trouble. Instead, Dan Uggla, the next Marlins’ batter, grounded into a fielder’s choice while removed Ramirez. Then I saw what have to be one of the most boneheaded running plays that I have ever watched since I’d stated watching baseball late in 1969. The batter, Miguel Cabrera hit a deep fly ball into left field, with Uggla running hard as soon as the ball was hit, obviously expecting it to drop in for a hit. Instead, the Phils left fielder, Jayson Werth, caught the ball, then threw the ball to the shortstop, Rollins, who then threw it to Ryan Howard to double up Uggla. And where was Uggla during all of this? Stuck between second and third, realizing that he’d messed up, which happily help get Moyer out of the inning. In the meantime, Obermueller gave up only one more hit to the Phils until he started the bottom of the sixth.

The Phils half of the sixth started off with Rollins getting another single. Victorino then foul out. A short time after that, Rollins stole second. The Marlins’ catcher, Matt Treanor, after catching Obermueller’s pitch on one hop, got up and threw the ball to second. The throw short hop under the glove of the Marlin’s fielder covering second and went into center field. Rollins went to third on the catcher’s error. This was then followed by Utley getting a walk. Unfortunately, Ryan Howard then struck out for the second out of the inning. The next player, Aaron Rowand was then hit on the shoulder, loading up the bases for Werth. Werth got up and hit a single, which scored both Rollins and Utley, and had Rowand ending up on second. The next batter, Abraham Nunez, was then walked, reloading the bases. That was enough for Florida’s manager, Fredi Gonzalez, who came out and took out Obermueller, replacing him with Kevin Gregg. The first batter Gregg met, Carlos Ruiz, then flied out to center, ending the inning, but the Phils gave Moyer a 3-0 lead.

In the top of the 7th, Moyer had a no hitter going, and continued it by getting out Ramirez and Uggla, but the next batter, Cabrera hit a double, thus ending Moyer’s no-hitter attempt. After the hit, me and most of the other fans stood up and gave Moyer a standing ovation for his efforts. With the no-hitter gone, Moyer got the next batter, Josh Willingham, to lined out, ending the inning.

During the bottom of the seventh, Philip’s father suggested that I get myself a new cap to replace the dirty one that I’d owned for several years, soon giving me one of the tickets. Before I continue tghe story, I need to explain this. Each of the tickets, which costs $100, have a voucher of $30, so that you can buy anything with it until you hit the full $30. Anyway, I asked where the concession stand was located. After being told, off I went, going back into the Diamond Club. After I’d reached the stand, I had a short talk with the person who was running the stand at the time, a very nice lady, who pointed out what each of the caps they were selling cost. I told her that I wanted a full cap, which cost $28. But, when she scanned the voucher, it was quickly discovered that it had only over $15 left on it. So, I went to see if I could get one of the other tickets to see if there was enough left on any of them so that I can get the cap. Well, on the way back, I was met by my brother and Philip, who were carrying with them two or three of the other tickets. After explaining the situation to them, we went back to the concession stand, and after she was down with another customer, we gave her two of the tickets. Turns out there was enough on the second one for me to get the hat. So, I got it, took back the two tickets and the receipt and quickly threw away the old hat. But, before we left, my brother decided to get one of the adjustable $15 caps from, and we found out that there was enough on that second ticket and on the third one to get it for him. We three then went back to our seats, where I thanked Philip’s dad for the suggestion and then we all went back to watching the game.

Anyway, after sitting back down, we watched the rest of the Phils’ seventh inning and then watched the Marlins half of the eighth. Moyer unfortunately started it off by walking Aaron Boone. He then struck out Cody Ross, but then gave up a single to Joe Borchard, with Aaron stopping at second. The Phils’ manager, Charlie Manuel, then came out, relieving Moyer with Brett Myers. Moyer was then given another standing ovation from the fans. After Myers had finished warming up, he proceeded to strike out, Miguel Olivo and Mike Jacobs, both of them pinch hitters.

Now, in the Phils half of the 8th, it started out with Howard getting a single. Rowand followed it by fouling out, and then Werth struck out swinging but then Nunez got a single, which moved Howard to second. Ruiz then followed that with a walk, loading the bases. Greg Dobbs then came up to pinch hit for Myers. He soon stroke a double to deep center field, which cleared the bases, giving the Phils a 6-0 lead. Rollins then came up, and stroke out, ending the inning.
Antonio Alfonseca came in to pitch the ninth, since the Phils’ eruption in the 8th ended a possible save opportunity for the team’s closer, Tom ‘Flash’ Gordon. Alfonseca then gave up a double to Ramirez. He then got Uggla to fly out, but Ramirez went to third on the play. The next batter, Cabrera struck out, but Willingham then got a double, scoring Ramirez, and giving the Marlins a run, making the score 6-1, ending the shut out. But Boone followed it with a fly out to center ending the game with a 6-1 Phillies win. The game’s winner, Moyer is now 3-1 while the loser, Obermueller fell to 1-1. Attendence for the day was 45,107, the highest this season and the fifth highest since the park opened a few years ago. The Phils are now tied for third with the Marlins, trailing the Braves and Mets who were both tied for first place in the Eastern Division of the National League.

After watching the player’s celebration for a while, we all went back into the Diamond Club. In the Club, Philip told us he had a video tape to give to Scott. We left the park and then followed him to the parking lot, needing to cross another street, to get to his father’s car and the tape. After getting the tape, we thank Philip’s father for the ticket and after saying goodbye to them, we headed back to get to the Broad Street Subway entrance. On the way back, going along Pattison Avenue, I saw the statue that had been dedicated to Mike Schmidt, Hall of Famer and one of the best players in Phillies’ history.

After passing all of the statues and markers that I’d saw earlier, we went back to the subway and caught a waiting train. We got off it at Walnut-Locust and then got out near Walnut Street. We walked over to Walnut Street and waited for the 21 bus to appear to take us back to our apartment. After a while, we got a 21, and took it down Walnut until it stop at 47th Street. We got out of the bus, crossed the street, went into out apartment building and into then our room, happy.

The main reason for this is because the first time we had gone to Veterans Stadium, with our dad when we were little kids, it didn’t end as well. Our first game at a ballpark, which was on June 4, 1972, the Phils fell to the then Big Red Machine Cincinnati Reds, 2-0. The Reds winning pitcher was Jack Billingham (3-6), while Bill Champion (3-3) lost the game, with Clay Carroll getting his tenth save at that time.