The game yesterday was one of those classic days at the ballpark, hot, humid, and full to capacity. There was an excitement in the air. It was Father's Day 2007 and the second largest crowd ever to see the Fightin' Phils play at Citizen's Bank Park showed up. I knew it was going to be close to a record crowd early on, we arrived at the ballpark over an hour early for the game and already the Ashburn Alley was crowded to capacity. There were only 2 small lanes where people could navigate around the people that were lined up for cheesesteaks, burgers, and pizza at Ashburn Alley.
The heat tested the stamina of the fans that was for sure. The game proceeded along with a game where the ball was lively early on. Neither pitcher would get a 'no hitter' today. Jason Verlander was poised to become only the second pitcher to pitch a back to back no hit game, but it wasn't to be. I thought to myself when watching Verlander pitch, what a great delivery he has to the plate. I was comparing his delivery to Freddie Garcia's and it really struck me on how confident and the way that Verlander approached batters as opposed to the slow, disorganized method of Garcia. The Phillies got to Verlander early enough to show that he was hittable and it looked as though the Phils might be sending home all the Dads, there cheering them on, home happy.
Detroit had other plans though, they stayed at arms length of the Fightins and got to Eaton in the 7th but most of the fans wanted Eaton to stay and try to pitch out of the trouble. He certainly looked mad at coming out of the game as well, perhaps Manuel didn't want him to be the losing pitcher. Geoff Geary came in to game for a cup of coffee and he got the loss, then Manuel continued to change pitchers much to the chagrin of the fans. Pitching seemed to lose the game for the Phils but also another stat that didn't look too good was Ryan Howard going 0-5 and leaving many runners on base, and J Roll who is normally relied upon to produce only mustered to go 1-5. So those two batters go 1-10 and left plenty on base for the Phils. Howard is getting scary, yes he has hit some homeruns lately but I don't know if Howard will ever get back to his form of last year.
The Cleveland Indians are up next, but we have Cole Hamels going for the Phils tonight.