On May 22, I finally made it to my first live baseball game of the season. Wait, let me be more specific: my first live baseball game that was not played by 11 and 12-year-olds.
Hard to believe that just less than three weeks ago, we actually had to wear sweatshirts to a Sunday afternoon Reading Phillies game, and even with the extra layer were still a bit chilly. Today, I’m hiding out in my air-conditioned house until I absolutely have to venture outside.
Anyway, back to the R-Phils, who were hosting the Richmond Flying Squirrels. 🙂 Gotta love that team name. J.C. Ramirez, who was acquired from Seattle as part of the Cliff Lee deal, was on the mound for the R-Phils. Ramirez gave up two runs in the second, but then settled down for the next five innings.
Taking the hill for the opposition was Clayton Tanner, who hails from the Land Down Under. Tanner, looking for his first win of the season, was perfect through six innings (by this point, I was actually kind of rooting against the home team, as it would have been really cool to see a perfect game). With two outs in the seventh, the R-Phils broke through with a single from Matt Rizzotti, followed by a two-run homer from Cody Overbeck to tie things up.
The score unknotted itself in the top of the very next inning, on a solo home run by Richmond outfielder Justin Christian. Richmond would hold on for the 3-2 victory.
Random game photos
R-Phils starter J.C. Ramirez delivers.
Shortstop Freddy Galvis attempts to field a grounder, but unfortunately he will not make the play.
Upon closer inspection of the previous photo, it can be seen that Phillippe Aumont was apparently feeling contrasty that day, and decided to wear blue shoelaces with his red cleats.
The throw to first baseman Matt Rizzotti is not in time to pick off the runner.
Only in the minors – “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” is sung by the Singing Usher, who is wheeled around the warning track by a giant carrot.
Speaking of food, my daughter must have had food on her mind that day, as she thought they were saying “taco” when they announced Paco Figueroa, and mis-heard Rizzotti as “wasabi”. 🙂
As for the major-league Phils, just a few more days until I finally get to a game. Yay! The fam and I will be at Saturday’s game against the Cubs. The forecast at the moment looks a little iffy – keep your fingers crossed for me!
[all photos by me]
I want one too.
I’ll ignore the blatant typo (“choocing”? doesn’t anyone proofread before they send this stuff out en masse to untold numbers of email subscribers?). I’ll also ignore the fact that the artist’s rendering doesn’t really look like an owl – maybe more like a feathered werewolf-Ruiz.
Speaking of feathers, here is how it is described in the email I received earlier today:
Ruiz, who has become a staple in the Phillies lineup, and one of the most popular players over the years, will look like an owl and will “Chooch” at the push of a button. The “Chooching Owl” will feature the face of Carlos Ruiz on an owl, complete with feathers, and the number 51 on its back. Normally, owls “Hoot”, but perhaps the best part of the giveaway is the fact that the “Chooching Owl” will say the word “Chooch” – Ruiz’s familiar nickname.
It’s goofy. It’s quirky. It’s kind of strange-looking. I must have it!
Note that this giveaway is not until August 2, and here they are, over 4 months in advance, already enticing us to buy tickets.
The Reading Phillies (or as they like to refer to themselves, the R-Phils) tempted me like this last year, with the Ryan Howard Garden Gnome. You may recall that my gnome-quest turned into a bit of a fiasco (for me, not the R-Phils).
[If you don’t feel like clicking on the link to read about that particular experience, suffice it to say that my family left gnomeless that night.]
Will the Chooching Owl be this year’s version of the Ryan Howard Garden Gnome? Check back in August, and I’ll let you know how we fared.
First, the fun part. On Tuesday, my daughter (who usually claims to not like baseball) coerced me into taking her to the Reading Phillies game, at which the first 2,000 kids received a Webkinz “Littlekinz” dog. I should probably have my head examined – like she really needs another stuffed animal! Unfortunately it doesn’t take much coercion to get me to do anything involving a baseball game. She probably knew this, and used it to her advantage.
So while my husband and son were involved in their own activity, we made the drive to Reading on a beautiful evening for a ballgame. The gates opened an hour prior to gametime, and we arrived within a few minutes of them opening. Seeing quite a few people already gathered at the gates, and the parking lot fuller than usual, my daughter started to panic that she would miss out on her Webkinz.
Her: “Mom, what if I’m not one of the first 2,000 kids?”
Me: “2,000 is a lot of kids. You’ll be fine.”
Her: “But what if I’m not? You don’t want me to be unhappy!”
This is very true. After we parked, she leaped out of the car and started running down the sidewalk to the gate. This from a child who seems to try to avoid running at all costs most of the time. Thank goodness no one got in her way, she may have pushed them over in her haste.
Of course, there were plenty of Webkinz to go around (and still were half an hour later). A happy child and her new favorite stuffed animal:
I informed her that just because she now had what she wanted, didn’t mean we were going to leave the game early. Mom wanted to watch some baseball.
It wasn’t such a good night for the R-Phils. Starter Josh Fogg topped out at 82-83 mph (according to the stadium radar gun), and the visiting Trenton Thunder hitters teed off on him. In 3.2 innings of work, Fogg gave up 4 runs on 8 hits.
Shortstop Freddy Galvis covers second on this steal by Justin Christian:
Upon closer inspection, it can be seen that Galvis has his eyes closed!
I’m pretty sure that this is not considered proper technique.
The R-Phils baserunners were not so successful. Quintin Berry not only is thrown out at second, he loses his helmet in the process:
In the meantime, the members of the R-Phils bullpen appear less-than-riveted by the on-field action:
The bullpen was pressed into action in the top of the fourth, and Fogg’s night was done. He seems to be purposely not looking towards the dugout, as the manager is approaching to remove him from the game:
Or maybe he was simply looking at the scoreboard, wondering what went wrong.
Some excitement was injected into the evening by the nightly vegetable race. Here, Carrot uses a flying finish to edge out Lettuce and Broccoli:
Cauliflower was a non-factor, finishing well behind and out of the picture.
After eight innings, the R-Phils were only down by two runs, 4-2. But then Trenton tacked on two more in the top of the ninth, a pitching change was made, and it was now 10 pm. Since it was, in fact, a school night, we decided to leave. Two more runs were scored after we left, and the final score was 8-2 in Trenton’s favor.
Nonetheless, I think my daughter was actually absorbing a bit of the game as she sat. After a Trenton batter grounded into a double play to end an inning, she turned to me and asked “Did they just get two outs?” So there’s some hope for her yet. 🙂
As for the big Phillies, they were in the process of beating the Marlins, 10-8. Was the offensive funk getting turned around?
Apparently not, as last night they gave Doc absolutely no run support, wasting a fine performance in which Halladay gave up one run in eight innings. The Phils lost to the Marlins, 2-0, and now head to Boston for interleague games.
This is never good anyway, but especially not when it seems like the Phils’ bats have been replaced by sticks of Swiss cheese. Particularly appalling is Jayson Werth(less), who struck out twice last night, making 19(!) in his last 41 at-bats.
UPDATE: The misery continues. The first game in Boston last night resulted in a 12-2 loss. At this rate, it’s gonna be a long summer….
It’s time for some drastic action.
Note to Phillies: Don’t make me come into the clubhouse and slap you upside the head with your own sweaty jockstraps!
(all photos by me)
After subjecting the fans to a rather uninspiring 4-5 road trip and beginning a weekend series against the freakin’ Mets with a 9-1 loss, the Phillies have thankfully come back to life. A 10-0 complete game shutout from Roy Halladay, followed by a 11-5 thrashing of New York ace Johan Santana, have given me reason for happiness today.
Well, I was basically happy before, but now I’m happier. 🙂
And this week will be a busy baseball week for me. Tomorrow my husband and I will spend a child-free day in the Lehigh Valley, at the IronPigs Education Day game, which starts at 10:35. My own kids will be in school, though there will be many other kids in attendance with numerous school groups. We did this last year, too, and had a great time playing hooky from responsible adulthood for the day.
The next day, I will finally get to my first Phillies game of the season, as my husband and I will be attending the Phillies-Cardinals game with another couple. We will be in really good seats, so I must make sure my camera is all charged up.
And then on Saturday, we’ll be going to the Reading Phillies game, where it is League Day for my son’s baseball league. The teams get to walk around the warning track prior to the game, and there are fireworks afterwards. But what I’m really looking forward to checking out that night is the annual Spam carving contest. From the R-Phils website (circled by me):
A plethora of activities, packed into one evening. I’ll definitely try to get some good Spam photos to share with you all.