How often can you go to a game and see a grand slam? Not very often. How about two in one game? Even rarer. Well for the folks in attendance (including myself), April 27th was a historic night. Powered by a grand slam by each Ryan Howard & Raul Ibanez, the Phillies beat the Washington Nationals, 13-11.
It wasn’t easy for the Phils as they had to battle back from deficits all night. After Nationals third baseman hit a pair of home runs (one in the third and one in the fifth) to put Washington up 6-2, Howard came up in the bottom of the frame with Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley aboard. He promptly launched a Shairon Martis pitch to center field to tie the game. He had this to say:
With this team, we’re never out of it. We have the type of hitters from top to bottom in our lineup who can produce. We’re never out of a game. When we got down early, we knew we could come back. I got a good pitch to hit on my grand slam. It was out and over the plate and I was able to extend my arms.
However, the Nationals offense didn’t quit. Both Nick Johnson and Adam Dunn hit two run homers to put Washington back on top. That wasn’t enough to stop Raul Ibanez, though. Coming to bat with the bases loaded down with the Phillies down 11-9, he hit a Joel Hanrahan offering down the right field line and into the bleachers, which put the Phillies ahead for good. After the game Ibanez talked about his at bat:
I knew I hit it far and I was just hoping it wouldn’t hook out. I was trying to go short with my swing and drive in the runner from second base. That was my mind-set. I feel really blessed to be a part of this club. It’s easily the most resilient club I’ve ever been a part of. We have no quit in us. We work well together.
Ryan Madson nailed down the ninth to seal the game and some memories.
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