Last night, the Phillies took on the NL Central-leading Cardinals in St. Louis, and emerged victorious. Joe Blanton held the Cards to just one run over six innings, and managed to wiggle out of a one-out, bases loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth.
After getting a groundout to start the inning, Blanton walked Ryan Ludwick and hit Rick Ankiel to put runners on first and second. The next batter hit a grounder to Pedro Feliz, who proceeded to have a brain cramp, and apparently couldn’t decide whether to tag the lead runner coming towards him, or throw the ball to second.
He hesitated, and we all know what they say about he who hesitates.
“He who hesitates loads the bases.” No, wait, that’s not it. “He who hesitates incurs the wrath of the Phans.” Oh, that’s not it either. Actually it’s “He who hesitates is lost,” but that just doesn’t sound as interesting.
Anyway, the next two batters struck out and grounded into a fielders choice, respectively, to end the inning. The bullpen once again pitched three scoreless relief innings, and Blanton got the win as the Phillies came out on top, 6-1.
Ryan Howard had reason to be smiling after this game, as he hit his second grand slam of the season in the fifth inning. This was Howard’s seventh career slam, tying him with Mike Schmidt for the franchise record. I’m sure this is a record that will be broken, as Howard still has plenty of seasons ahead of him.
Scary Moment of the Game
In the top of the eighth, St. Louis centerfielder Rick Ankiel ran face-first into the outfield wall after catching a fly ball off the bat of Feliz. The ball rolled away from his hand as he fell to the ground, and it was not immediately clear if Feliz was out or not (he was).
Ankiel was taken to the hospital after being carted off the field. X-rays and scans were negative, but he was kept overnight for observation. Thankfully, it seems that he will be OK, and he has since been released from the hospital.
I will admit that I am not a fan of Ankiel, but I would never want to see an opposing player seriously hurt during a game. What’s really unbelievable to me is some of the comments that I have seen posted to coverage of the incident – derogatory comments directed to Ankiel, or people only wanting him to be OK because he is on their fantasy team. What is wrong with these people?!
Anyway, tonight is the conclusion of this quick two-game series, and then it’s on to New York for two games at Citi Field. Two more chances to kick some Met butt for me, guys! I know you can do it!
(Howard photo by me; other photo by Jeff Roberson/AP)