Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Greg Golson > Kelly Johnson

With tickets already secured for tonight's and tomorrow's games against the Braves, I was planning on taking in last night's series opener in my living room. Not so. Some time after 4, sitting at my desk waiting for the day to end, my roommate called and asked if I wanted to go to the Phils game. Of course I did. What a silly question.

So, for the second time this season, I'm all set to take in an entire three-game set with the Braves at Citizens Bank. And boy did things get off to a great start last night. To sum things this up, this game was won by two people I have been less than pleased with since the All Star break: Jimmy Rollins and Ray Liotta Pat Burrell.

Now, since his ridiculous remarks about the fans, Jimmy Rollins has completely won folks back over with his recent tear. The man has been the undisputed catalyst at the top of the lineup, and last night was no exception. He started off the game with a double and was driven home when Chase followed with a two-bagger of his own.

Then with the game tied 2-2 after those pesky Braves (just ask the Mets!) fought back, Jimmy Rollins made the play of the night. Heading into the 8th, the score was still 2-2. Sidenote: At the end of the 7th inning, two people in my section got up, said goodbye to the people around them and left. What? That's the most asinine thing I've ever seen. Why would you even go to a baseball game if you're going to leave in the 8th inning of a 2-2 tie? It makes no sense at all. It wasn't even late. In fact, it was 9 o'-freakin-clock! These people should be shot—or in the very least banned from ever attending a live sporting event again in their lives. What jerks.

Anyway, back to the game. With the score tied 2-2 and Rudy Seanez (I shit you not) in the game, Kelly Johnson led things off with a shot to right-center, getting a double and winding up on third after Victorino bobbled the ball. Ugh. Runner on third with no one out. I see why the Mets had some difficulty with this team. (Ha!)

Things looked grim, but have no fear, Jimmy is here! The next batter, Omar Infante, smoked a line drive that Jimmy snared. One down, runner on third. And then, this happened. HOLY! FACKIN! BALLS! That was the play of the year right there folks. A high chopper with a decent runner on third, and Jimmy snares the high hop, fires a laser that even Donovan McNabb was impressed with, right on target as Ruiz blocked the plate and applied the tag. That play should have been close. It wasn't. Because Jimmy did everything perfectly. It was awesome.

Scott Eyre then came in and got Casey Kotchman to end the inning. Then the Phils decided it was time for October. Pinch-hit machine Greg Dobbs led things off with a single, and the rook Greg Golson came in to run. And lo and behold, Braves reliever Jeff Bennett must have heard the legend of Golson's speed, because the Atlanta righty fired a ball to first in an attempt to keep Golson close, only to see it sail over Kotchman's head. The fleet-footed Golson wound up on third easily.

After a groundout by Jimmy and a walk to Chase, Jasyon Werth stepped to the plate with the rookie on third and Utley on first. Werth, usually reliable at putting the ball where he wants, failed to do so, hitting a grounder to third. Golson, undeterred, took off for home. Martin Prado fired to the plate, but to no avail. Golson used his ungodly speed to sprint home and get under the tag of catcher Clint Sammons, who did a pathetic job at blocking the plate. It was all sorts of sweet. Watch it here.

Oh, but the Phils weren't done there. No sir. After Howard flew out, the struggling Pat Burrell came up to a roar from the crowd. And he delivered. Just like that, Phils were up 6-2, and the game was theirs. It was fan-freakin-tastic.

And then there was the icing on the cake. The Mets, mired in yet another September choke job, were trounced by the Cubs. The big blow? A grand slam by Cubs starting pitcher Jason Marquis. Awesome. I couldn't have even come up with such a scenario myself. And the New York papers are loving it.

Also, I'd like to give a big kudos to J.A. Happ for continuing to pitch well with another good outing last night, and to Pedro Feliz, who made an awesome play at third you can see here.

Great night all around, and I'll be sure to give another update after tonight's game.

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