Monday, May 2, 2011
Posted: 12:53 a.m. Updated: 2:27 a.m.
By Jim Salisbury
The real world intersected with the sports world on Sunday night.
In the ninth inning of the Phillies-Mets game at Citizens Bank Park, fans began chanting U-S-A U-S-A U-S-A. It was something right out of Lake Placid, 1980, only this was Philadelphia, 2011.
On the field, Phillies players, locked in a tie ballgame with the Mets, wondered what was going on.
Between innings, a television camera man stationed near the home dugout told them that President Obama was about to address the nation and announce that terrorist Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. forces 10 years after masterminding the deadly attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
It was kind of an uplifting moment, Ryan Howard said of the patriotic chants. But we had to remain focused on the game. Ill go home now and catch up on it on the news.
Its difficult to say what was plot and what was subplot Sunday night the game or events of the real world. Either way, it was one of those where were you? moments for everyone in attendance players included. The Phillies lost the game, 2-1, in 14 innings. Afterwards, players talked about the baseball game, but the events of the real world were a close second.
It was definitely a big day in American history, Shane Victorino said.
It was a close game and everyone was focused on the game, reliever Danys Baez said. But obviously what happened for the U.S. and the rest of the world is great.
Baez was a rookie with Cleveland when baseball shut down for a week in the wake of the 9-11 attacks.
Victorino was a young minor league player.
For those who have suffered, maybe theyll have some kind of closure, Victorino said.
The Phillies are off Monday. Good thing. They played until well after midnight.
The Phils staged their second straight late rally to tie the game at 1-1 on Howards two-out RBI single to left in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Phils left the bases loaded in the inning as slumping Raul Ibanez grounded out to end the frame. Ibanez is 0 for his last 34. The Phils left two more runners on base in the ninth en route to 11 LOBs. They were just 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
We had some good opportunities, but it was one of those nights when we couldnt get the hits, manager Charlie Manuel said. We just didnt get it done.
The feast-or-famine Phils offense has scored just three runs in the last two games. This after scoring 10 on Friday night. The Phils did take two of three in the series from the Mets.
Mets righthander Chris Young held the Phils scoreless on two hits over seven innings. Cliff Lee had an odd start. His command was not good he threw 34 pitches in the first inning but he managed to last seven innings and hold the Mets to one run.
They definitely made me work in the first inning, Lee said. I felt fortunate to get through seven after that first inning.
Kyle Kendrick took the loss as he allowed a run in his third inning of relief. All in all, the Phils bullpen did an excellent job as Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo, Ryan Madson and Baez combined on four scoreless innings before Kendrick came on in the 12th.
The bullpen did a good job, said Manuel, who was ejected for disputing a check swing call on Brian Schneider in the seventh. We just couldnt score any runs.
Years from now, folks in the sellout crowd of 45,713 wont remember that the Phils lost this game. But they might remember those patriotic chants of U-S-A U-S-A. The real world intersected with the sports world on Sunday night.
And where were you?
E-mail Jim Salisbury at email@example.com
Related: Fans react to bin Laden news with 'U-S-A!' chants Buy Phillies gear