Back on track
With an assist from Mother Nature, the Phillies finished a 7-1 homestand with a 2-0, win over the Mets in a game called after four and one-innings because of rain.
Gavin Floyd picked up the win and Chase Utley homered but the the star of the game was center fielder Aaron Rowand.
Rowand made a spectacular catch in the first inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Xavier Nady sent a fly ball that looked as if it may go out. Rowan raced back and caught the ball as he crashed face-first into the top railing of the 6-foot high fence. He fell to the ground, held up his glove to show he caught the ball, rolled over and remained on ground face down.
He eventually walked off the field on his own power, holding a towel over a bloody nose. As he exited the field through the right field gate, he received a standing ovation.
X-rays at the ballpark revealed a broken nose and lacerations that required sutures at Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He was admitted to the hospital and will have his nose repaired tomorrow.
“He won the game right there,” said Charlie Manuel after the game. “For determination, that may the greatest catch I’ve seen and I’ve seen some good ones.”
For the next 53 days, the Phillies will basically be living out of their suitcases as they play 18 games at friendly Citizens Bank Park and 29 in unfriendly waters. The schedule this year is quirky. During the first 34 games, 23 were at home. Next month, the Phillies are only home nine days all month. Between June 1 and July 2, the Phillies have just one weekend at home, those Devil Rays from Tampa.
Fan support during the completed homestand was electric, resembling the atmosphere of a playoff game. Don’t think the Phillies didn’t feel it. Electricity will return when the Red Sox come to town for the May 19 weekend. What is needed is electricity for the Milwaukee and Washington series at the end of this month.
A limited number of tickets are available for the Red Sox and again next month for the Yankees. Good seats for the 12 games against the Brewers, Nationals, Mets or Devil Rays can be had. Simply put, there aren’t many times to back the Phils at home through July 3 but good seats are available.
During interleague games in Boston, New York and Baltimore, Phillies’ fans seem to pack those parks. It is wild to hear cheers for the Phillies in Fenway Park. Friday night in Cincinnati, Phillies fans from that area get to see Cole (Slaw) Hamels make his major league debut. Slaw? Chris Berman made we write that. Forgive me, Cole.