Phillies Nation

2009 Recaps

Grandest Game: Howard, Ibanez, Win

“There’s a new hero in town.”


Down four in the eighth, the Phillies needed a miracle. A few hits and walks later, and the Phils had the bases loaded for Raul Ibanez.


Ibanez’s grand slam won it, 13-11. Ryan Howard hit a grand slam before that to tie the game at 6-6. This despite the Phils pitching giving up home run after mammoth home run. The ball positively flew out of Citizens Bank Park. This, my friends, was a game for the ages. And at this point, nobody can ever count the Phillies out of any game. These guys can win anything.

The best moment came after Ibanez’s shot, when fans bowed in appreciation, unworthy of the newest Phillie’s talents. Ibanez has accomplished what took Pat Burrell eight years to do, and that is pretty amazing.

The numbers: Ibanez went 3-for-5 with a home run, double, two runs and four RBI. Howard went 1-for-3, but walked twice and hit the other granny. Jimmy Rollins went 3-for-5 and scored twice. Shane Victorino and Chase Utley each collected two hits.

Pitching wasn’t great for the most part. Joe Blanton allowed six runs on eight hits and three walks in 4.1 innings, and Scott Eyre couldn’t buy an out, giving up four runs in the process. But Clay Condrey (1.1 IP, 0 ER), Jack Taschner (1.1 IP, 1 ER), JA Happ (1 IP, 0 ER, W) and Ryan Madson (1 IP, 0 ER, SV) did the job. Happ was poised despite being handed Eyre’s mess, while Madson’s fastball blazed into the zone in the high-90s; when the Phils need a backup closer (like tonight), Madson truly does the trick. Ultimately, the bullpen’s ability to close it out won the game.

But really, it was “Ribbie,” the new hero in town.

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