Photo Phlogging – Phillies vs. Nationals

I had good seats for Wednesday’s Phillies-Nationals game so I took lots of pictures. Despite my claims to the contrary that isn’t going to become a sports blog, I’m going to post a representative group of them here. Ah, the power of editorial control…

I’m presenting two ways to view these pictures. First, click this link for a photo gallery layout. This is easier to follow because there is only one window. It will take a moment to load, though, because about 5 megabytes of pictures must load.

To follow the individual links, just follow along in this list.

  • Brett Myers throws an early pitch. The shadow played a large role in the game, holding the teams to a combined six hits through eight innings.
  • Chase Utley’s swing approaches the ball. It was an out, but contact is contact in a game with twenty-one strikeouts.
  • The shadow creeps further across the infield. I wonder if the shadow hindered Wilkerson’s return to first base when Myers picked him off in the first inning?
  • Charlie Manuel argues with the umpire about Myers’ balk. This was the second time Myers balked this season. I’d be happy to see that trend cease.
  • Mike Lieberthal swings and makes contact. Again, not a strikeout.
  • Bobby Abreu backs away from a called third strike. He was displeased.
  • A check swing by Jim Thome angers Nationals fans. Maybe instead of the lame Fans Code of Conduct card the Nationals handed out at the gates yesterday they could’ve offered a more helpful Rules of Baseball card that explains the concept of a check swing.
  • Chase Utley grounding out to second. Ditto on the contact.
  • Esteban Loaiza attempts to sacrifice Juan Guzman to second. Myers made a diving catch moments later, stranding Guzman at first.
  • Nationals fans seem to lack courtesy and baseball ettiquette. How do they not know that walking in front of people during the pitch is rude? It happened so often that this picture is one of many like it. If the game matters that little to you, sit in your office playing with your Blackberry. And considering how often it happened early in the game, here’s a little tip for Nationals fans. When the starting time is listed as 4:35 p.m., it’s not really a suggestion.
  • Chase Utley backs away from a called third strike. Half the strikeouts yesterday happened on called strike three. I don’t know if the shadow fooled the umpire more than it fooled the batters. It seems obvious when looking at this picture and the picture of Abreu. Utley was displeased, too.
  • Jason Michaels bloops the Phillies’ second hit of the day in the 8th inning. Michaels had the first hit, too.
  • Lieberthal walked, so we had an actual runner in scoring position for the first time! I took this picture in the 8th inning. Jose Offerman whiffed to end the inning.
  • Jimmy Rollins goes deep, driving Loaiza’s pitch into the Phillies’ bullpen. Billy Wagner raced to the bullpen mound to get ready for the bottom of the 9th. I didn’t see whether or not he snagged the homer and used the ball to warm up. I hope he did.
  • Thome grounds to first, which could’ve (should’ve?) been a double play. Instead of touching first, Brad Wilkerson looked Kenny Lofton back to third before rifling the ball to Vinny Castilla in time to tag the sliding Lofton. The inning lasted longer because of that mistake judgement call by Wilkerson. Thanks, Brad.
  • Jason Michaels smacks a screamer into centerfield for out number two. Bloops for hits and line d
    rives for outs, it was that kind of day.
  • Frank Robinson argues balls and strikes in the middle of the 9th. The umpire debated his calls with Robinson, but before Billy Wagner threw his next warm-up pitch, the umpire moved the conversation further up the third base line. Can you blame him with 95 m.p.h. of nastiness blowing from the mound? Yet, notice that Pratt’s out there with no gear. Tank is a Badass.
  • Wagner’s slider baffled the Nats in the 9th, leading to the easy save.

I love winning. It’s, like, better than losing.