Additional photos can be found here :::
Going into this game, the Expos and Phillies were both tied for first place with 5-2 records. Right behind them were People's and the Orioles who also played each other on this night! The second half of the season really is heating up. When we got to Nevers Park, we parked on the wrong side so we went by a different baseball game first. Not sure who was playing over there, but the one kid I walked by didn't seem like he wanted to play.
Nevers Park is weird. We walked through the Phillies' dug out just to find our way around the field to figure out where to watch the game because the dug out doesn't really exist in a traditional sense. There is a lot of fence but no bleachers and if you happen to grab a spot of grass somewhere to put a chair, you're going to be watching the game through the fence. We set up behind home plate because there was a smaller fence we could watch the game from without it blocking our view but Quentin couldn't duck or hide behind the home plate fence if needed.
Out towards right field was that other baseball game and out in center field there was a skate park, so it was interesting to look out there every so often and see people skateboarding on by. On the left side was mostly woods, which was fine because at least we weren't near someone's backyard. But I still questioned, walking through those Phillies players, why someone would ever design a baseball field where it felt like it wasn't intended for fans to show up and watch a game.
The Expos struck first in this game with a big two run homerun by Jack Rich in the first inning. The Phillies players were complaining it bounced and went over the fence but that ball was long gone. Funny enough, in the sixth inning one of the Phillies players hit a double which the Phillies all then thought was a homerun but it was called a double because it went under the fence, not out and over. I liked how the umpires were only wrong when it worked in the Phillies' favor. However, the umpires did want a runner to come back onto third base for the double, but with runners on second and third they both score, something which had to be explained to the umps.
Ths game was a solid pitching battle for five innings. The Phillies couldn't seem to figure out A.J. Hendrickson and Trevor Moulton did a good job for the Phillies as well, as many of the problems with the Phillies seemed to be their fielding as they had at least two balls thrown to first that didn't make it to the base. Not sure if that was a first baseman problem or the fault of whoever threw the ball, but for the most of this game the Phillies did not look like a first place team.
However, up 5-0 in the sixth inning the Phillies had a big inning which put up three runs. The Expos were unable to score in the seventh and then the Phillies walked it off. As these final scenes played out, I must tell you what happened behind home plate. My uncle had these two guys he knew from when he was a kid show up and one of them was yelling at the Expos to move their defense in. For some reason, the batter- Mike Lisincchia- took offense to this and told him to be quiet. Then, my uncle's friend, told this guy to focus on the game and not what he was saying and Mike Lisincchia got really upset asking "Do we have a problem?"
The Phillies may have won but the fact that they let something like that get to them, even after they had won the game they were still talking about it, makes me feel like if someone was taunting them from the stands the entire game they'd buckle under the pressure. I'm not saying the Meriden crowd might do it this Friday night when the Expos come home, but it does seem like something an Orioles crowd might do. In all of my years, I've never seen a baseball player so sensitive as to what someone was saying before.
With this loss for the Expos, they are now tied for second place with the Orioles, who beat People's. People's moved down to fourth place as Ulbrich Steel takes third place. The Jets and Graphics are pretty much out of it, but the Expos do play the Jets tonight before meeting the Phillies again on Friday. The Orioles and Steel meet on Friday as well so it will be some sort of super battle of all four teams at once. The only other game between now and Friday is the Orioles vs. Graphics and you can bet Ulbrich Steel is hoping for the Graphics to pull off the upset and play spoiler.
You can feel how you want about every team in this league (I don't like the Phillies because I'm a Mets fan and I don't like the Orioles because they seem pretentious) but the top five teams- Phillies, Expos, Orioles, Steel and People's- all have a chance to do something special this season still. People's has a doubleheader on Sunday against the Jets and if they win both of those and the Phillies go on a losing streak, People's could jump up to second place. This is what just makes it so much fun right now.