I enjoy my Sunday trips to see the Phillies. Today, it was more of an adventure than just going to a ballgame. I knew the weather forecast spoke of a chance of thundershowers later in the afternoon, today... but what happened shortly after the game got underway at Citizens Bank Park was really scary. I listen to the game on the radio as I am watching the play on the field, the radio announcers said that it was very dark over Center City and it looked like the weather was heading toward the stadium. In the next few minutes, the weather changed dramatically. The wind tore at the flags out in center field, you could hear the flags whipping in the wind really loudly, and about 25 hotdog wrappers took to the air as well as many of other papers and cups and then came the very cool temperatures and finally the storm. PA announcer Dan Baker at the stadium advised fans right after it started pouring rain to 'take cover, the National Weather service has advised that anyone in a open area take cover immediately' this should have been announced a couple of minutes sooner as the skies angrily spouted buckets of rain and lighting and thunder were all over the stadium area almost immediately after Baker made his announcement. Fans scrambled for cover as vicious lightning, and roars of thunder claps made the storm even more violent.
Fans on the third deck almost had no time to react, many were still in the upper decks long into the storm which as I said was very violent with thick bolts of lightning and thunder so loud it sounded as it the Vet were being imploded again just in the parking area of the stadium. The Phillies should have given more advanced warning to what was about to engulf the stadium and the fans in it.
Fast forward 1 hour and 57 minutes worth of rain delay, or storm delay we should call it!
There was baseball today despite all the weather! The Phillies started this game terribly as newcomer Joe Blanton was getting rocked with every pitch he was throwing before the storm hit. The rain saved him for the day, but after the violent storm, Adam Eaton almost pitched exactly like Blanton and gave up 5 hits and 3 runs with a wild pitch. Two of the five hits were for homeruns (back to back) and the crowd let Eaton know what they think of him with a chorus of boos from about every area of the stadium. He is about the most unpopular Phillie player at this moment for sure.
Going into the Phillies at bats for the bottom of the 4th, the team was down 5-0 and it looked bleak that they would be able to overcome yet another 5 runs down game. No problem, the bottom of the fourth, the Phillies would just pound 5 runs out themselves to tie this thing, and give some new hope to the fans who stayed for the rest of the game. This game seemed like it never would end. By the end of the game, the Phillies would have posted 12 runs on 14 hits, but the Braves wouldn't die quietly and almost came back in the bottom of the ninth, only to fall short losing 12-10. The rock solid Phillies bullpen would have some gaping holes today as did the starting pitching, but in the end a win is all that counts and the Phillies stay just 1 game out of first and the NY Mets who occupy the top spot.
Rich Baxter - Fightin Phillies