The beat goes on
The beat and the buzz goes on. On this 9th day of May, the Phillies pulled out their 9th straight win in the bottom of the last inning on a bizarre play in a game that rocked. The atmosphere felt like a playoff game.
There’s electricity in Citizens Bank Park and not just the light towers.
Brett Myers, who is headed to his first All-Star team, was facing a future Hall of Famer in Pedro Martinez. Young and strong vs. experienced and wise.
Three runs in the second by the Phillies stood up until Myers was touched for a two-run homer by Xavier Nady in the 8th. In the bottom of that inning, pinch runner Shane Victorino scored from first on a Ryan Howard two-out double into the right field corner. Victorino lowered his left shoulder and bowled over Paul Lo Duca to give the Phillies a 4-2 pad. Andy Reid of the Eagles would have been proud of Victorino’s bone-jarring hit.
Tom Gordon proved he is human by yielding a two-run, game-tying, 410-foot homer to Carlos Delgado in the ninth. Going into that at-bat, Delgado was just 2 for 30 against Gordon. The blown save was the first for Gordon after 10 straight.
That half inning had a strange ending when the on-deck pinch hitter Julio Franco was ejected after Kazuo Matsui was called out on strikes. Franco, in the on-deck circle, complained and was ejected by home plate umpire Doug Eddings. At 47 years of age, Franco may have entered the record book as the oldest player to be ejected.
The last of the ninth had a strange but happy ending for the Phillies. With two out pinch hitter Dave Dellucci tripled into the right field corner. Jimmy Rollins was hit by a pitch and Chase Utley drew a walk against reliever Aaron Heilman to load the bases.
Ahead in the count, 2-1, Bobby Abreu and hit a little dribbler that traveled about 15 feet. Heilman picked up the ball with his bare hand and threw wildly at first base. A win on a walk-off error. Take it!
“I was just trying to make contact,” said a smiling Abreu in a post-game TV interview. “I got it off the end of the bat and ran. I didn’t know what happened until I saw the ball going past first base.”
Charlie Manuel, in going to the post-game media interview room, couldn’t get in the room. “We win a game and I get locked out,” he chuckled.
As was the case each day during the weekend series against the Giants, fans gobbled up tickets the day of the game. Over 9,500 tickets were sold on Tuesday, pushing the final figure to 33,787.
Which brings up a commercial. Game two is Wednesday night. Tom Glavine, 24-16 lifetime vs. the Phillies against Cory Lidle, 4-1 in his career vs. the Mets.
The advance sale for the game is 22,000. A reminder, tickets can be printed at home if you buy tickets online or through the phone center. The latter is a recently added fan-friendly feature provided by the Phillies. Printing tickets at home means shorter reservation lines at the ticket windows. Of course, you need a computer to print tickets. You probably figured that out.