It was the kind of weekend that every baseball fan can appreciate. A three-game home set with your despised division rival. Another Ace on the hill looking for the oh-so sweet sweep. It was the crown jewel of ESPN as all of America watched this nationally televised game on Sunday Night Baseball. South Philly was rockin’ looking to chase those Muts up the interstate. Everything seemed to fall into place after a good ol’ fashioned beat down Friday night and a masterful 2-1 win on Saturday. That is until the weekend took a crazy turn late Sunday night at Citizens Bank Park.
The Metropolitans came into Philly riding a hot streak but the best team in the National League quickly dispelled that notion. On an overcast, mildly chilly night at the Bank Cliff Lee got off to a rocky start in the 1st inning with the home plate umpire having a peculiar time distinguishing balls and strikes. It took 34 pitches and an escape out of a bases loaded jam for Lee to get out of the 1st inning, but he did so unscathed.
Lee only needed 33 pitches to get through the next three innings. In the 5th David Wright crushed a double to right field to break the 0-0 stalemate scoring Carlos Beltran.
Mets right hander Chris Young worked through our lineup again throwing seven scoreless innings only allowing two hits. It was the kind of offense-less game that sends half the crowd to McFadden’s by the 5th inning. Phinally in the 8th inning with John Mayberry Jr. on second after a walk RBI machine Ryan Howard sliced a single to left field to tie up the ball game.
This would have played out to be the type of game that you could have easily forgotten if not for the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death by U.S. Forces around the 8th inning. Word spread quickly through the park via text messages and Facebook. The reactions were shocking, disbelief, joyous.
To the bewilderment of the Phillies players on the field chants of “U.S.A. U.S.A.!!” erupted across the Bank from all 45,000 plus in attendance. The news of the death of a tyrant easily took precedent with what was going on in the field and for most of the drug-out 14 innings of baseball it wasn’t much.
The enjoyment of watching an outraged Muts fan refuse to be ejected in the top of the 14th was in itself worth sticking around for. Thirty blue jackets and three real cops later and the man was led away to chants of “TAZE HIM, TAZE HIM!!” Not quite as patriotic as the chants in the 8th inning but nonetheless fun to witness.
During this escapade, in section 144, the Muts snuck a run by us off of “reliever” Kyle Kendrick, K-Squared or Crazy K, whichever u prefer. That was the game in a 14 inning offensive-less marathon.
It wasn’t exactly the ending to the series that the Phillies had hoped. But off the baseball field there was a much greater victory for New York City and the Nation.