What a great game last night. The Phils were operating on all cylinders and the most notable sign was a game-winning pinch-hit grand slam by Ryan Howard. Also on offer was another solid outing by Jamie Moyer, a two-inning close job by Brett Myers, and nine unanswered runs after being shut down most of the game by Randy Johnson. The win saved the Phillies from their first sweep at the hands of the Diamondbacks in almost a decade. But it did more than just than. The Ryan Howard grand slam especially provided a healthy blip on the otherwise flat-lined Phillies pulse. "It doesn’t just lift his spirits. It lifts the club’s spirits, too," observed starter Jamie Moyer. Pat Burrell reiterated saying, "You can’t count on the pinch-hit grand slam. We needed something like that to happen for us."
The trouble is I feel too often that the Phillies – when just teetering on the brink of disaster suddenly – find a way to pull things together. Maybe they will take the series this weekend against the Cubs, but then they face the Brewers – the best team in baseball currently. That’s going to be a real test for the club. Only if last night’s grand slam was an indication that the healthy Ryan Howard of last season has returned do the Phillies have a chance to turn the season around. Otherwise it will be just another roller-coaster ride with the Phillies doing just enough to get by. Along those lines, I could definitely see a return of everyone’s favorite Canadian reliever, Rheal Cormier who was released by Reds yesterday.
For those of us who nonetheless can’t stand turning away from the car wreck that is the Phillies, we here at Phillies Nation have two awesome events. They both involve the Phillies-Giants game on Saturday, June 2nd, which starts at 7:05. First off, we are planning another world famous tailgate party. There will be hamburgers, hot dogs, beer, cheesesteaks, soda, water, other random food, beer, musical entertainment and dozens of friendly Phillies fans. We also have group tickets reserved for people who need seats. The party with 400 level tickets to the game will run you $42, or just $20 if you have your own tickets. It also might be worth mentioning that it is my birthday weekend, so I am considering it a party in my honor (although no one else is obliged to).
If you don’t already have tickets and prefer fancier accommodations, then you should be aware of a raffle being run by Holy Family University. They are offering luxury box tickets to the June 2nd game for you and 11 of your friends. The prize includes admission to the game, the swanky seats, free food, free drinks, and free parking. There will be only 20 entries accepted for this raffle and an entry will set you back $500, but participants will have a 20-to-1 chance of winning the grand prize. There is also a second prize of a Chase Utley signed bat and ball, 2 Hall of Fame Club Seats and a $10 food voucher. Even better, the remaining 18 participants will receive 2 Hall of Fame Club Seats and a $10 food voucher to a game. Everybody wins, whoo-hooo! Call Luci Sweeny at 267-341-3353 if you are interested and remember entries are available to the first 20 people only.