I wasn't able to see the Phils' win over the Marlins last night to close out the sweep. The Union had a home game, so I was at PPL Park watching them fall to a superior Columbus Crew side. Fortunately, the commenter known as Swift sits a few rows in front of me, and as he has in previous "schedule conflict" games, he shouted out score updates from the Phils.
The update that came when JC Romero was charged with two runs without retiring a batter in the seventh was a little painful. We later found out that he'd also allowed two of Roy Oswalt's runs to score, including a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded after an IBB. It was at least a relief to hear that Oswalt had improved on his first start with the team, but man did he get screwed on that one.
In the parking lot, fans waited out the traffic and huddled around open car doors to hear extra innings. The Franzke call on Chooch's 10th inning homer while sitting in the car with the AC blasting after standing outside all night was "relief" defined.
Another Philly sports fan tattoo after the jump.
We weren't sure what had gotten the Phils back even with the Marlins to force extras, nor what LA was talking about when he made reference to a wild ninth inning, with all three rally-killing Phillies outs coming on the basepaths, then how an umpiring mistake and a little luck kept the game alive.
Catching the recap at home, we couldn't help but laugh at the outcome for the Marlins and cringe at the Phils' wasted efforts in the top of the ninth. The Marlins were clearly screwed by a terrible call in the ninth, and despite the Phillies having choked away a rally, it was all even heading into the tenth. Chooch, knowing full well what it takes to be a WFC, has put the team on his back lately. His double in the sixth inning plated the game's first two runs, and it was his second of the game. With three hits on the night, Ruiz is just two points shy of a .300 average.
The Braves won too, while the Mets were inactive. Winners of four straight and 12 of their last 14 amidst a terrible battle with the DL, the Phils just two games back of first place. They're doing far better lately than the expected "hang in there, weather the storm while key players are out." It wasn't pretty last night, but sometimes it helps to win ugly and have a reminder that it doesn't always take being perfect.
As for the Union game... The Crew looked great throughout up much of it, clearly a more cohesive side than the Union. PPL Park had a great crowd last night, 18,001, and there was a lot of energy throughout the place, not just in the River End. But it took a penalty kick by Seba Le Toux to get them on the board at all, and they had trouble marking the Crew's Steven Lenhart all night. Lenhart put two in the net. No big deal, the expansion side lost to a first place team.
I haven't heard why, but the Union started the game shooting on the River End, whereas they usually defend that side first. Don't like. Put it back how it was, Union.
Today's fan ink courtesy of commenter Aaron. Utley would be proud.