The Phils pulled out a 5 - 4 win over the Washington Nationals last night on the strength of a Jayson Werth home run in the bottom of the 8th inning. The homer capped a comeback for the Phils, who were down in the game 4 - 1 after the 4th inning.
But the big story of the game was the return to Philadelphia of one James Calvin Rollins, who recently made some comments you may have heard about.
In a purely unscientific guess as to the ratio of cheers and boos when Rollins first came to bat in the first inning, I'd have to guess it was about 60 or 70 percent booing, with the rest of the folks cheering.
Let there be no doubt, however, that in the 5th inning, when Rollins hit into a rally killing 4-6-3 double play, the natives were pissed and reacted accordingly and loudly. There was no mixture for that particular slice of fan reaction; the Phils had just scored on a sacrifice fly from the bat of Geoff Jenkins and had just turned the lineup over, when Rollins (batting left) rolled over on an 0-1 pitch.
The crowd did give Jimmy a nice hand when he smoked a 3-2 pitch from Steve Shell for an apparent home run, only to have the wind knock the ball down for a long, loud out.
In non-JRoll news from the game, Joe Blanton pitched 5 innings and seemed to labor. He seemed to be high in the zone and fortunately, the wind kept balls in the park last night, or else the score might have been higher for both sides. Blanton gave up all 4 runs and struck out 3. He gave way to Chad Durbin and Ryan Madson, who kept the Nats at bay and Brad Lidge came in to nail down save number 31.
The series continues tonite with Brett Myers facing Collin Balester. However, I suspect that the focus will continue to be on how the crowd reacts to Jimmy Rollins. I suspect that the vitriol will subside as the days go by, but this self-inflicted wound will heal much quicker if Rollins creates the kind of offensive wave we all know he's capable of.
- Greg Dobbs and Chris Coste accounted for the other Phils RBIs.
- Donovan McNabb felt the need to render his opinion on the Rollins situation to Philly.com. Mostly empathetic to JRoll......
- Mike Missannelli had two interesting guests in the past few days weigh in on the Rollins situation. Both have had unique relationships with the Philadelphia sports fans over the years. Former Phil player and manager Larry Bowa weighed in, and I'm paraphrasing here, saying that playing in the Northeast can come with a bit of fan negativity. Charles Barkley weighed in with a very similar sentiments (audio link not up on 950's website....I'll post it if it goes up).
Photo: (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)