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Philadelphia Phillies: Streaking and Stretching in Section 145

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Philadelphia Phillies: Streaking and Stretching in Section 145
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We packed in the car to attend our first game of the season. After fighting the rowdy crowd, we took our seats just as the game started.

That’s when the calls from the crowd brought to mind a memory. My husband summed it up when he said, “Hey, I forgot. We’re supposed to yell stupid shit at the other team.” Then he shoved napkins in my crotch. He claimed he didn’t want them to blow away but his smirk indicated he’d simply took advantage of a good excuse.

This was going to be a great day.

Once we were cozy, anticipating a hot day and a sizzling team, I decided to take some notes:

The first inning was busy. Jayson Werth hit a three-run homer in retaliation for his 26 game on-base streak that was broken in game three.

Hold on…My husband says it’s not a streak—it’s a stretch. Well, honey, stretch doesn’t have the same connotation as streak. I’ll do anything to increase the imagery of seeing him naked. I’m the pervert who tried to peel away his clothing with Photoshop at least 26 times. But that’s not a stretch I plan to break soon. If anyone knows how to get that done, let me know. My, how I’d love to hack into him.

Where was I? 

Oh, yeah. After the Phils were finally retired, it became apparent that Ashburn Alley was Sunburn Alley and section 145 was an oven. But Planet Hoagie is still the hottest deal in the stadium. For about eight bucks you get a sandwich that feeds four and a short line that saves an inning of play. They don’t have anything they can claim is a “Philly Original” but they also don’t serve fries named after an STD.

Then the second inning started. I ate roast beef, but the Phillies were Sloppy Joes. Jayson Werth lost a ball in the sun for an error, then Wilson Valdez—the substitute for the substitute for Jimmy Rollins, earned one with a throw just short of Ryan Howard’s reach.

And that should be an error. With the way Ryan’s playing, he’s so much bigger than his 6'4" frame. And after seeing throws in this series bounce off Albert Pujols’s glove like the ones that were effortlessly scooped up by the $125 million man, it’s hard to reason against his recent contract.

At the close of the second, one thing was evident: the Phillies remember Kyle Lohse. As a former teammate, he held no secrets and finished that inning with 63 pitches. It’s amazing what a handful of hits can do to a pitch count.

In the fourth, Placido Polanco hit a grounder that inadvertently slipped between the legs of David Freese. No big deal. I can’t keep mine together either. At least he only earned an error—I got a reputation.

By the end of the fourth, Lohse was at 100 pitches. My brother-in-law said it best: “Lohse is toast.” So was my nose.

Then the Phillies took a defensive reprieve: Jayson passed on a Tide moment, Carlos Ruiz missed a pitch that allowed two runners to advance, and the wind had blown my hair sideways for so long I looked like I had a Donald Trump sweep.

In the fifth, some drunk guys behind us were upset with the guy who was starting the wave. The funniest thing they could say was, “Go home and start the wave on your couch!” And as if that was not-funny enough, the monkey beside him said, “Yeah, go home and start the wave on your couch!”

They’re lucky this isn’t FunnyOrDie.

That was also the inning Raul Ibanez welcomed Blake Hawksworth to the mound with a homer off a 2-0 pitch and Carlos established himself as a dominate force against St. Louis with a single. But then Valdez hit into a double play.

My brother-in-law texted me: “Valdez should stick with coffee.” But Charlie Manuel—slim but far from competing on Dancing With The Stars —strolled out to banter with the umpire.

His stutter, funny drawl, dry sense of humor, inability to speak in complete sentences, and unrelenting faith in those who fail us, make him a poor candidate to manage in a city that takes its sports seriously. But when Charlie defended Valdez on a poorly hit ball that yielded a double play to end the fifth, it was evident—he fits in here quite nicely.

In the sixth the wind switched directions. Soon my eyes were as full of crap as I was.

By the bottom of the seventh, the Phils were up 6-2, the Cards were on their fourth pitcher, and Jayson Werth hit a double—just because he could.

And Carlos Ruiz singled. Did you know Carlos is batting over .300 now? And did you notice he’s seventh in the lineup? That’s what happens when you’re playing against a catcher whose name is Yadier—from the Molina trinity. You buck up.

Chad Durbin was called in to pitch the eighth.

When he shows up as his alter ego, Disturbin’ Durbin, a five-run lead is like the boobs that used to hold up my tube top—a distant memory. After he beaned two batters, two meetings were held on the mound to make sure he understood the intricate strategy: “They’re batters, not bull’s-eyes.”

I’m kidding. I don’t really know what was said, but the inning ended with a rare, 3-6-1 double play. Or was it 3-4-1? I’m not sure whose butt it was that sailed to second for the out. All that matters is, it was nice.

But there was one more inning to go. Since Brad Lidge still needs his beauty rest and Jose Contreras closed game three, I held my breath. Then I fainted when Danys Baez ran in from the pen. He’s the guy who almost pitched for the cycle in the loss against the Mets and has a cumulative ERA higher than my bowling average.

Don’t get me wrong—a man with a pitch that packs a 95 mph punch is a girl’s dream but if he doesn’t know where to put it…well, insert the innuendo of your choice here.

Last year we had Two-Run Lidge; this year it’s Four-Run Baez. Praise Pete we were up by five and I had an established farmer’s tan.

Well, either the ghost of Hall of Famer Robin Roberts was in the house or the Phillies are just playing great ball.

The batters are seeing the ball so well that the two guys hitting over .300 hold lineup Nos. 5 and 7, the hurlers are so hot it looks like even Kyle Kendrick could stay in the majors, and the Phils had 14 hits for a 7-2 win to cap a 3-1 series against the best defensive team in the league. Roy Halladay earned his sixth win and again they’re first in their division.

It’s as if Ruben Amaro, Jr. planned it that way.

Wait, of course he did. That was a really stupid thing to say. Hey, let’s try a few more.

Shane Victorino is so good at snagging high-flying objects I heard they’re naming a dog breed after him—the great Shane.

Ibanez had a Raul series. There were so many opportunities to howl I thought the next Twilight movie opened.

The police commissioner decided the next spectator to run onto the field would be fought with light sabers.

And in honor of the morons in my section, I went home and started the wave on my couch.

Sorry, it wasn’t funny that time either.

See you at the ballpark.

 

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