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 MLB.com 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.