On Friday, July 8, 2011, the Sassy Librarian and I went to Citizen's Bank Park for her first ever Phillies game. Courtney has become a devoted and passionate Phillies fan (after 18 years with me, it was only a matter of time!) and we were thrilled to be able to go to the game tonight.
Especially when it was a showdown between the first place Phils and the red-hot 'Lanta Braves, who came into the game in second place, 2.5 games back. We were even more excited to learn that Cy Young personified, Roy Halladay, would be toeing the slab for the Fighting Phils.
Nothing could dampen our spirits. Not even three inches of rain that fell, flooding area roadways and adding 2 hours to our 130 mile trip to the park. Not even the soaking wet denim of our jeans (and in my case, my sodden socks). Not even the two rain delays that pushed the start time from 7:05 to 8:59 pm. Despite the rain, the field looked beautiful, as did Courtney, in her stylish new Phillies cap.
The game was a nailbiter, with Braves scoring first, the Phillies answering, and then the process repeating itself. Halladay gave a gutty performance, and despite two wild pitches and a passed ball, was still very good. The went to extra innings, and by the bottom of the 10th, Courtney couldn't take any more--she had to go to the ladies' room! I left my seat with her, and watched the rest of the action from the concourse. Ryan Howard was robbed of a double by a diving catch, but then Raul Ibanez sent us all home happy with a resounding solo shot walk-off homerun to right. As soon as the ball landed in the seats I turned my back to the field, to see Courtney dashing out of the rest room with a huge smile on her face. They have the radio broadcast playing in the concourses, so she had heard everything. There is no way around it, Courtney going to the bathroom is a good luck charm!
In addition to a thrilling win, we also saw history. Phillies journeyman reliever Juan Perez got the win, pitching a scoreless 10th inning. More than that, he pitched an immaculate inning (three strikeouts on a total of 9 pitches). This has only happened 43 times in all of major league history, and the last time it happened in extra innings was 1923! It goes to show you, you never know what you'll see when you go to a ballgame.