9 Jul

A game that started with thunderstorms ended with a thunderclap off the bat of Raul Ibanez.  After almost a two-hour rain delay the Phillies won the first game of this three game set against the Braves but it took them almost 5 hours and 10 innings to get it done.


After an initial delay of about an hour and a half, the tarp was taken off the field and the Phillies Roy Halladay finally began his pre-game warm-up.  The rains were not done yet, however,  and Halladay, a man who likes his routine, had to cool his heels and change his soaking wet uniform while the tarp was rolled out once again.


Halladay struggled early on this wet night having trouble gripping the ball but even if he didn’t have his best stuff he battled through seven tough innings retiring 11 of the final 12 batters he faced.  The Braves Brandon Beachy battled as well giving up 8 hits and 2 runs in six innings. But by the 8th inning, both starting pitchers were gone and the game still hung in the balance.


The bullpens took over, an area of strength for the Braves so far where their young arms have been nothing short of spectacular.  And the Phillies have had some young surprises as well with Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo holding down the pen in the absence of Brad Lidge, Jose Contreras, and Ryan Madson.  But in the end this wet night would belong to a 32-year old reliever making only his 3rd appearance and a 39-year-old veteran who has had more than his share of ups and downs this season.


After both bullpens worked several scoreless innings, the game remained tied heading into the tenth.  The Phillies had already used both Stutes and Bastardo and after Wednesday’s shaky bullpen performance, Charlie Manuel decided to try someone new.  He called on Juan Perez, the 32-year-old who was called up from Triple- A on June 23rd.  Although he hadn’t pitched since June 24th, he sure didn’t look rusty last night.  Perez struck out the side in the top of the 10th and became the first Phillies pitcher to accomplish this feat with only 9 pitches since Andy Ashby did it on June 15, 1991.  This impressive performance set the stage for another Phillie to have  a memorable night of his own.


On a 2-0 count in he bottom of the tenth, Raul Ibanez blasted a Scott Proctor fastball over the right field fence giving Juan Perez his first Major League win and sending his teammates and Phillies fans home damp but happy. Getting the always-important first win of the series guarantees that the Phillies will be in first place going into the All-Star Break.  Thanks to a pitcher who had to wait until age 32 to finally get his first win and a classy veteran who at 39 still gives us everything he’s got every time he takes the field.



5 Responses to “Rauuuuuuul!”

  1. Hal Rosenbluth July 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    There’s nothing better than being out of town, not knowing what happened to the Phillies the night before, waking up and checking out the pre-eminent sports site and seeing Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul hit a walk off. Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuul, “am I still sleeping, or did I actually wake up and read Rauuuuuuuuuul.” Ok, maybe Rauuuuuuuuul is not in spell check because after reading today’s column all i can say is add a few more uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu’s. Way to go Raul and way to go SCD for sticking with Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul. I’m going back to sleep now, I think I must be day dreaming.

    • girlsbestphriend July 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

      Thanks for your comment Mr. Rosenbluth. It means a lot especially coming from someone featured on Morning Joe! You are not dreaming. It is indeed true. I can hardly wait to see what today’s game will bring!

  2. Banyanjd July 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    More like
    “Damp but Delirious”

  3. Fern Zeigler July 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    I know! You should be a radio announcer!!!!!!!!!

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