On Sunday, August 9, 2009, Tim and I made our way down to Citizens Bank Park to watch the Phillies and, more importantly, Jamie Moyer face off against the Florida Marlins. This wasn’t a game I’d originally planned to attend. However, I ended up buying tickets to all three Dodgers games back in May before finally deciding on attending the Wednesday, May 13, 2009 game. I was told I could exchange my extra tickets for certain games — this seemed like the best trade-in option. I was pleasantly surprised when Cliff Lee joined the Phillies and they shifted the pitching rotation so Jamie Moyer would start this game.
I’m always a little let down if we go to a Phillies game and someone else is pitching. So I was very excited when I learned Moyer would start this game instead of J. Happ.
For possibly the first time ever in Philadelphia, we arrived early to the game! The teams weren’t taking BP, but I was happy to learn that it was Phillies alumni weekend and they were about to start an alumni hitting challenge.
There were three teams of two — here are all of them but except Ricky Bottalico:
Top middle, some dude. They said he was one of the heros of the 1980 World Series team. I reviewed the 1980 line-up and none of the names jumped out at me. So I’m sorry, I have no clue who that is. He hit a few hot line drives that almost had HR distrance but went foul.
Bottom left, Jim Eisenreich. Not too shabby. But nothing to write home about.
Bottom middle, Milt Thompson. He’s the Phillies current hitting coach so you’d want him to blast mammoth bombs…or maybe just hit solid base hits. Okay, i guess he did a good job of the latter. But no mammoth bombs.
Right, Ricky Jordan. The hitting star of the challenge. He hit two bombs to LF. One landed about 8 rows back and bounced all the way passed the cross aisle at the top of the section. The second was caught on the fly by a fan in the first row. These were the only HRs of the hitting challenge.
The team of Ricky and Ricky won the challenge on the strength of the Jordan bombs.
By the way, the Phanatic made a sweet diving catch with hit fish net on a hard liner to right-CF. He got a huge ovation from the fans. Unlike Tommy Lasorda, folks in Philadelphia (including me and Tim) love them some Phillies Phanatic.
We’ve never been to BP in Philadelphia before. So it would nice to *sorta* see BP at Citizens Bank Park. It was the first time we’d ever been able to hang out in the LF seats because they guard it like its made outta solid gold during games.
We had some fun watching the challenge out there:
By the way, check out Tim’s give-away Ryan Howard trucker cap. Not too shabby. He liked it.
Both of the Ricky Jordan HRs came near us, but we didn’t have a play on either.
After the home run challenge, it was time to take a lot of pictures. I decided my main focus would be my main man in Philadelphia, Jamie Moyer.
By the way, during the game, one of my friends and colleagues called my cellphone to inform me that Tim and I were on TV during the pre-game broadcast. Apparently, it was about a 5-second shot of Tim sitting on my shoulders while I took pictures (and/or fidgeted with my wife’s camera). One reader commented on my last entry noting that he also saw us. Too bad I have Directv and therefore almost no Phillies games on TV, otherwise I might have DVR’d the game.
Oh, well. Let’s take a photographic tour of the pre-game rituals of Mr. Moyer.
The game was a 1:35 start. As shown below, at around 12:45, Moyer and catcher Paul Bako were among the only Phillies in the dugout:
Is it just me, or is Moyer watching me and Tim in that first picture? Also, note all of the cool bat knobs in the second picture. I love wood bats.
After a while, Bako made his way toward the bullpen and I took these shots for a panaramic (we were standing at the end of the Phillies dugout at the time):
About 20 seconds later, Moyer started walking the to the bullpen as well. The crowd gave him a lot of nice comments as he made his way. Although the fans in Philadelphia can be rude and ridiculous, I’ve found that they also can be really great. They appreciate someone who done things right. And they showed some love for Moyer as he walked to the bullpen.
I was similarly impressed by Philadelphia’s fans last season when Ken Griffey, Jr. played a four-game set in Philadelphia while sitting on 599 homeruns. I went to three of those games (Tim joined me for one), and the fans were outstanding. Griff pinch hit in two of the games at times when a homerun would have been devastating to the Phillies, and the entire stadium stood for his at bats, and people were really pulling for him to make history.
Anyway, here is Moyer following Bako out to the bullpen:
Bako practiced his squating while Moyer ran some sprints from CF to RF:
After running and stretching, Moyer grabbed two balls out of this glove and popped a squat behind Bako:
I got the feeling he was praying. He sat there for a little while before hopping up to play catch with Bako.
I used this time to take some pictures of the OF wall in RF and CF.
I thought it was interesting that they had all those hoses/cords hanging on the wall under the stands in foul territory. As for the picture to the right, I think Philadelphia has a really interesting CF wall. Very interesting to look at.
Next, Moyer played some long toss with Bako:
The Marlins pitcher, Josh Johnson, was also warming up in the bullpen at this time. I took the picture below because I thought it was interesting how many levels/tiers there are out there:
I count five levels — (i) we’re standing in the RF/CF stands, (ii) then it drops off 15 feet to the phillies bullpen, (iii) then it raises back up probably 12 feet to the visitors’ bullpen, (iv) then it raises up another 10-12 feet to the walkway in Ashburn Alley, and (v) then its up another 20 feet or so to the “roottop bleachers” and upper walkway. Interesting design. I approve.
Soon, it was game time:
Moyer got the loss, but he really pitched well. He gave up 2 earned runs (3 total runs) in five innings. In a lot of Phillies games, that is going to qualify the pitcher for a win. But on this day, the Phillies just could not hit.
After watching Moyer pitch 3 scoreless innings, it was time to check out the play area. Unfortunately, it was closed due to the rain. So, Tim decided he’d like to play some catch.
This is Tim’s new deal since we played catch in the concourse at Yankee Stadium in July. This was a great spot. There were a number of Phillies employees watching us play catch and none of them cared whatsoever. In fact, several of them helped us track down errant throws. The fans and one food concession stand guy really seemed to enjoy watching us play catch. In fact, one lady tried to get her daughter to play with us. But the little girl wasn’t feeling it.
After playing catch for a while, we headed over to the SRO area behind the field level seats down the 1B line. At pretty much every single game we ever attend, Tim asks me to buy him a certain sovenir, but I always say no. But today, I said yes:
Tim loves that finger! And at $9.00 for a piece of foam, he better love it for a long time!
At this point of the game, which I think was the 4th inning or so, the Phillies had a grand total of 1 hit. However, Chase Utley sparked the offense with this mighty hack:
You might notice that the ball is between Utley’s legs. He swung at such a bad pitch that the catcher couldn’t handle it. A few second after this swing, Utley found himself standing on first base courtesy of a passed-ball-swinging-K.
Ryan Howard followed Utley…
…with a laser line drive to the first baseman. Utley was doubled off.
Even the mighty Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul Ibanez couldn’t help the Phils…
…he grounded out to second.
We then went back to play catch a bit more. It was the top of the 5th and the Phils were winning 1-0 on the strength of their one hit. Unfortunately, Moyer gave up three runs (2 earned) in the top of the fifth.
The top of the seventh was a wacky (and for the Phillies) a terrible inning. First, Shane Victorino managed to get thrown out of the game while playing CF. Not a common occurence. I guess he shrugged his shoulders on a called ball. The umpire did not appreciate the gesture.
Jayson Werth replaced Victorno in CF and had a terrible game. Including an error on a soft grounder up the middle with the bases loaded. It went right under his glove and to the warning track before Raul could track it down.
Actually, I’m getting a head of myself a little bit. Before the Werth error, I took three pictures that I combined to make this interesting view:
Note that the pitcher is about to release the ball, the batter is about to hit the ball, and Ryan Howard is helplessly watching as the ball lands 2 rows back in the seats. By the way, when I took the dugout and walking to the bullpen pictures of Moyer, I was standing approximately where the guy in the green shirt and white hat is standing in the picture above (and Tim was sitting on my shoulders).
After Victorino was tossed, the entire crowd booed like crazy on almost every pitch for the rest of the game. It was some of the loudest booing I’ve ever witnessed. If the Phillies pitcher pitched a ball, BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! If a Marlins pitcher pitched a called strike, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! If the Marlins changed pitchers, BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! When the local celebrity told the crowd, “Its gonna be alright” before singing “God Bless America” in the middle of the 7th, BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
It was interesting.
But the Phils were done. They gave up 6 runs in the 7th inning.
Toward the end of the 7th, Marlins star Hanley Ramirez…
hit a double…but not on this swing. This was a foul ball.
By this point, the Phillies were losing 9-1. Pedro Feliz hit a two-run bomb in the bottom of the 7th, but it was clear it would be too little too late. Meanwhile, Tim was struggling to stay awake because he hadn’t really had a nap. So we called it a day in the 8th and didn’t have to suffer through watching the Phillies give up 3 more runs in the top of the ninth.
Tim was asleep by the time we were 100 feet out of the parking lot.
Since this game, the Phillies have announced some news that is exciting to many — Pedro Martinez will start for the Phillies on Wednesday in Chicago — but for others, like myself, it is at the same time quite sad.
To make room for Martinez, the Phillies have announced that Jamie Moyer will be moved to the bullpen.
Today, I read this article in which Moyer is quoted as stating that he is “disheartened” by this news. I join Moyer in this respect. I sincerely hope this isn’t the last start Tim and I get the honor of seeing Moyer make. If it is his last start in a Phillies uniform, I hope he can make another in a Mariners uniform.
Finally, I hope this is premature, but I’d like to thank Jamie for 145 wins and countless good memories.
NEXT UP: Tim and I will be going on the our second annual Cook Father-Son-Grandson Baseball Road Trip from August 14 – August 17th. It is going to be a huge trip with lots of awesome and memorable moments. Be sure to check back in to read about it.
Season Fan Stats:
21 Games (plus one 5+ hour rain out with no game)
7 Stadiums (Safeco Field, Camden Yards, Citizens Bank Park, Citi Field, Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium, and Fenway Park)
17 Teams (Mariners, A’s, Rangers, Rays, Orioles, Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, Mets, Nationals, Cubs, Braves, Padres, Dodgers, Cardinals and Marlins– and sort of the Giants)
17 Ice Cream Helmets (Mariners (4), Phillies (5), Mets, Nationals (3), Red Sox (3) and Yankees)
18 Baseballs (12 Mariners, 2 Rangers, 1 Phillies, 1 Red Sox, 1 Umpire, 1 Nationals)
4 Divisions Closed Out (So far in Tim’s Life — AL West, AL East, NL West, NL East)
3 Autographs (King Felix Hernandez, Jason Phillips, Ryan Perry)
2 Player/G.M. Photographs (King Felix Hernandez, Jack Zduriencik, Ryan Perry)
5 Mascot Pictures (Mariners Moose (2), Orioles Bird (2), 3 Presidents (Nats), Screech (Nats) — Honorable Mention: The Green Monster statue bench)