Goosebump City

Tonight’s Lineup
Rollins, ss; Victorino, cf; Utley, 2b; Howard, 1b; Burrell, lf; Jenkins, rf; Feliz, 3b; Coste, c; Kendrick, p.

Goosebump City
Plenty of goosebumps at Citizens Bank Park yesterday as the Phillies came from behind to reel in  the Marlins and regain first place.

Jamie Moyer kept his composure after the 4-run third inning and kept his team in the game until Manuel’s V-8 Machine came through again.  (Speaking of V-8, that’s Victorino’s nickname because he wears number 8).

Not all 8 cylinders in the machine clicked. But enough did.  Chase Utley went yard for the fourth straight game.  Another one tonight and he ties the club record which he tied earlier this season.

Geoff Jenkins, 0-for-9 as a pinch hitter, tied the game with his pinch homer in the sixth.  A low ball hitter, Manual noticed that Doug Waechter was a low-ball pitcher during his warm-up tosses and the move paid off.  Then, Pat Burrell came through with the game-winner, a two-out, broken-bat, two-run double in the seventh. 

Tom Gordon and Brad Lidge took over from there. 

When Jenkins took over in right field after his pinch blast, he got a standing ovation from the fans in that area.  When Burrell was lifted for a pinch runner after his clutch double, he got a standing-o.

“Lieby” Touched
When Mike Lieberthal was introduced pre-game as retiring from baseball as a Phillie, he, too, got a standing-o.

While it wasn’t noticeable from the stands, there were tears in his eyes.  It just goes to show the fans appreciated his 13 years in pinstripes.  Several fans held up signs.  That was cool.

“I was really touched,” he said afterwards.

He walked into the clubhouse around 11:30 and hugged the players who once we his teammates.  He also signed a Reading Phillies minor league contract which will be filed with Major League Baseball.  The last line of his career lists that fact.  He was on the Dodgers a year ago but he wanted to end as a Phillie.

Two more years and Lieberthal will be eligible for the Phillies Wall of Fame.  He should be a shoe-in.

Historic Home Run
Ken Griffey Jr. comes to town for four games, sitting on 599 career homers.   Only five players in major league history have reached the 600 level.

In the long history of baseball in Philadelphia, the Phillies since 1883 and the Athletics from 1901-54, none of the 600 were hit against either team.

Jimmie Foxx, then of the Red Sox, hit his 500th against his original team, the A’s, 9/24/40 at Shibe Park.  At the time, Foxx was the second player to reach 500, joining Babe Ruth.

Ticket sales have been very active for tonight’s game.  It had been the smallest advance sale of the four days.

Draft Countdown
3 more days until the First-Year Player Draft.

Following a weekend of meetings, the eight magnetic boards are virtually filled with names of players the Phillies may select.

Yesterday, Marti Wolever and his crew worked throughout the game.  In baseball, you need to grind out wins and that’s what the Phillies did down on the field.  Up in the Draft Room on the Hall of Fame Club level, the crew was in a grind out mode of operation.  They could hear the crowd roar but they were oblivious to what was happening.  They didn’t even have the game on TV.

Over the next couple of days, they will refine the candidates, checking with area scouts to get up dates on the players and their health or signability.  Perhaps a scout saw a certain player and he wants to elevate the status of that particular prospect.  Or, it could go the other way.

Area scouts start the entire process.  Then other eyes are brought in, scouting supervisors, regional supervisors, Marti, Mike Arbuckle, Rob Holiday, Chuck LaMar, Ruben Amaro Jr. and even Pat Gillick.  The more eyes and ears the better.





I was very lucky yesterday and managed to get Lieby’s autograph on my jersey! Lieby wasn’t the only one with tears in his eyes yesterday. I really hope the tribute that was shown makes it onto the 2008 DVD yearbook. 🙂

Hope to see Griffey get his homerun as long as it is a solo shot and the Phillies win.

I am glad Lieberthal was able to retire the way he wanted although to me he is not a shoe in for the Wall of Fame. There are many more deserving players on the ballot like Jim Konstanty, Darren Daulton, Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk, and others that led our team to championships. Leiberthal represents a time where the Phillies were either terrible or just not good enough. Hopefully that era is gone forever!

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