Pretty much on impulse, I decided to risk the forecast for showers and head to tonight’s Phillies game against the Marlins. (Yup, that’s three games in a single week.) Most of my favorite players are either Phillies or Kansas City Royals, of course, but I have a soft spot for Dontrelle Willis of the Marlins. When I saw he was pitching tonight, I realized that was just the reason I needed to head out to Citizens Bank Park. Being bored out of my mind helped, too.
As much as I like D-Train, I wasn’t hoping he’d pitch all that well. The Phillies were going for their seventh win in eight games, and I definitely wanted to be there for a win. It wasn’t to be. Willis pitched like hell, but he out-performed Phillies starter Adam Eaton, who gave up seven runs in four-and-a-third innings. Sigh.
I sprang for a seat behind home plate—well, 30+ rows behind home plate, anyway. I probably would’ve been happier in the cheap seats because my seatmates were particularly annoying. Not only was the man on my left so tall and heavy that he was in my personal space, but he spent the entire game coughing. (If I develop tuberculosis, I know who’ll be to blame.) A man behind me kept trying, loudly, to impress his friend (date?) with his knowledge (although he frequently couldn’t even figure out whether we were in the top or bottom of an inning!). And worst of all, an annoying family of four sat in front of me. Neither the two little girls nor their parents seemed at all interested in the game. The girls enjoyed some ice cream and jumping up and down on their seats. The mom, who was so tall that she sometimes made it difficult for me to see the action, was alternately preoccupied with the girls and a beer. The dad purchased goodies and wiped chocolate ice cream off seats, chins, and armrests. I should just be grateful they left after the third inning and never came back. Actually, I am grateful for that! But why do people like that even go to ballgames???
In any event, the game wasn’t all that memorable. What I’ll mostly remember, I suppose, is this: First baseman Ryan Howard had the night off, and his absence led to some wholesale restructuring of the batting lineup. I think it makes a lot of sense, anyway, to make the thriving Aaron Rowand the Phils’ leadoff hitter. Rowand, by the way, continued his streak: He’s now had a hit in 16 consecutive games. He’s the man.
Now, what will the boredom lead me to do tomorrow?