Saturday, July 4, 2009
I've been to a few minor league games before on the 4th of July, but this was my first time I've been able to get to a MLB game for Independence Day. Unfortunately, yesterday's game had a 4:05 start time, so they didn't have fireworks at the ballpark, but we lucked out and got to see some on the drive home.
Yesterday was the 70th anniversary Lou Gehrig's speech at Yankee Stadium that he gave just a few weeks after his final game and the ALS diagnosis that he received on his 36th birthday. In honor of Gehrig and everything that he meant to the game, Phillies backup catcher Chris Coste read his speech before the game.
They also had a very touching salute to veterans before the National Anthem.
|Photos by Ronald Cortes|
The Phillies loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first after Shane Victorino singled, Chase Utley walked and Ryan Howard singled off of Fernando Nieve. However, they were only able to score a single run on a Jayson Werth sacrifice fly. Greg Dobbs struck out to end the inning.
They struck again in the bottom of the fourth. Pedro Feliz singled and Paul Bako drew a walk. Jamie Moyer laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, and Jimmy Rollins doubled to right field to score two runs and put the Phillies up 3-0. The Phillies tacked on their fourth and final run in the bottom of the 6th. Nieve was pulled from the game with two outs after giving up a walk to Bako and Rollins. He was replaced by Pat Misch, who gave up an RBI single to Victorino before striking out Utley to end the inning.
On the other side, Jamie Moyer was masterful. At 46 years old, the lefty lasted 6 ⅓ innings, giving up only one run on five hits and a walk. The only damage the Mets did off of him was in the top of the fifth. After retiring Fernando Tatis and Ryan Church, Moyer gave up back to back singles to Nick Evans and Omir Santos. His opposition on the mound, Fernando Nieve, hit a third single in a row to score Evans from second. It was the only run the Mets would score in the game.
The Phillies bullpen had even more success against the Mets. Chad Durbin came on in relief of Moyer in the the 7th, followed by JC Romero, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge. The Mets only got one hit off of Phillies relief pitching when Romero gave up a single in the top of the 8th to shortstop Alex Cora. Cora had a good night going 3-4, but the rest of the Mets lineup was largely kept silent for the rest of the night. David Wright, Gary Sheffield, Luis Castillo, Ryan Church and Fernando Tatis each went 0-4.
Brad Lidge is having a rough year, especially in light of his perfect 2008, but he looked like his old self in the 9th last night with a 1-2-3 inning and two strikeouts for his 15th save of the season. Jamie Moyer was the winning pitcher to improve his record to 7-6. It was his 253rd career win, which ties him with Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell for 42nd on MLB's all-time wins list.
The drive from Philly back to Hazleton took us through Jim Thorpe, and with all the traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway, we didn't get off of the turnpike until after dark. As luck would have it, they were having a fireworks show in Memorial Park in Jim Thorpe, and we got there about 15 minutes before the first firework went off. I didn't even know this was happening when we left the house, but we couldn't have timed it better if we planned it.