Friday, July 1, 2011

2011 Topps Commemorative Patch #TLMP-RHO Ryan Howard

Phillies 7, Blue Jays 6
Game 83 - Friday Afternoon, July 1st in Toronto

One Sentence Summary:  The Phils came from behind - twice - defeating the Blue Jays, 7-6, on Ryan Howard's two-run, ninth inning single.

What It Means:  The Phils ruined Canada Day for the Blue Jays.  The win improved the team's record to 52-31 and they have a 4 1/2 game lead over the Braves.

What Went Right:  The offense showed some pop for a change, banging out 11 hits.  Howard's big hit was set up in the ninth when Placido Polanco walked and Chase Utley reached on a double to left that was badly misplayed by Jays left fielder Juan Rivera.  The recap pointed out it was Howard's 12th game-winning RBI this year, tying him for the most in the Majors with Adrian Gonzalez and Torii Hunter.

Starter Kyle Kendrick pitched a decent game until he faced Jose Bautista in the seventh.  Kendrick threw a sinker that didn't sink down the middle of the plate and Bautista launched it into the stands for a two-run homer and a 6-5 lead for the Blue Jays.  The mistake pitch was thankfully negated by Howard's heroics in the ninth.  Get well soon, Roy Oswalt.

Antonio Bastardo pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save.  Shane Victorino had a nice day at the plate, going 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored

Featured Card:  This is one of the manu-patch cards found within packs of 2011 Topps Series 1.  The fact that I actively pursued this card on eBay means I must (on some level) like these cards, although I have absolutely no idea what Ryan Howard and the 1954 Phillies team have to do with one another.

Other Stuff:  In his first visit back to Toronto, Roy Halladay delivered the Phillies starting line-up to the umpires before the game and received a long standing ovation from the grateful Blue Jays fans.

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