Aug 14, 2023

It's Always Sonny In Philadelphia

Sunday, August 13, 2023
Results: Twins defeated Phillies, 3-0

Well, it came a couple of months later than we had planned, but Dad and I finally got to a game together this season.  We had tickets for the game on June 7th, but it was cancelled at literally the last minute because the air quality from the Canadian wildfires was so bad that it was dangerous to be outdoors.  As a result, I wasn't able to check the Detroit Tigers off of my list of MLB teams that I've seen in person, but I was able to check off another AL Central team yesterday: the Minnesota Twins.

Bull's BBQ is Dad's favorite place to grab a bite to eat when we're at the ballpark.  He always orders the Bull Dog Kielbasa, and I always order something else and wish that I had gotten the kielbasa instead, so this time I just went ahead and got the damn kielbasa.  It was very good and I'm glad that I tried it, but I'm not sure that I'm going to make it my go-to at every game the way that my dad does. 

This was the last day of Alumni Weekend at Citizens Bank Park, so there were quite a few players from past seasons in town.  This year, the Phillies honored the 40th anniversary of the 1983 NL Championship team and the 30th anniversary of the 1993 NL Championship team.  Radio broadcaster and former pitcher Larry Andersen was the only player who was a member of both the '83 and '93 clubs, so he threw out the first pitch in a custom '83/'93 jersey.

The pregame ceremony for an Alumni Weekend game is always very nice, and I enjoy spending time with my dad at the ballpark whenever we can get down there.  However, from a strictly baseball perspective, this may have been the most brutal game that I've ever had to sit through.  I won't say that home plate umpire Alex MacKay cost the Phillies the game, but he's definitely responsible for it being a shutout.  Alec Bohm had a full count with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 7th and took what should have been ball four.  See for yourself:

This is where "strike three" was caught

This just wasn't the Phillies night.  They were down 2-0 for most of the game.  That's not a blowout by any means, but it felt almost insurmountable.  I'm not really in the mood to write a full recap of the game, but I will say that my frustration with Kyle Schwarber, and with Rob Thomson for continuing to have him bat leadoff, has never been higher.

The season is going well overall.  They're tied with the Brewers for the third best record in the National League, and they have the top wildcard spot with a 1.5 game cushion over the Giants and 3 game lead on the Marlins, but there are going to have to be some significant improvements between now and the post-season if this team hopes to get back to the World Series.