I was all prepared for tonight's headline to read "BOOOOOOOOO!!!" regardless of whether the Phillies won or lost. Umpire Bob Davidson's ass-clowny interference/double play call would surely be the highlight of the game. Especially since it was followed by several innings of lusty, full throated boos, making me and everyone watching thoroughly proud to be a Phillies fan.
But somehow, 900-year old Bob Davidson's utter inability to do his job without majorly fucking up is not tonight's top story. And neither is Domonic Brown, who didn't get a hit (he reached on an error) and seemed a little too aggressive and impatient tonight. Erik Kratz had a real chance at the top spot when he was called upon to pinch hit for Humberto Quintero in the bottom of the seventh inning. He sprinted in from the bullpen still in half of his catcher's gear, immediately picked up a bat and stepped into the box. It took him a few pitches to catch his breath (and for me to stop laughing at the whole thing) but once he did he ripped a game tying double off the mesh of the fence, just missing a home run.
But no. Not Davidson or Kratz or anyone else could steal this game from its rightful owner. No, tonight belongs John Mayberry. Tired of being a non-factor and a non-entity on the team due to not playing very well, he came in as a defensive replacement for Delmon Young and responded by hitting a game tying solo home run in the 10th inning. But that wasn't enough for Mayberry tonight. Mayberry came up again in the 11th inning. Before he stepped to the plate, Domonic Brown had reached on an error and Freddy Galvis was inexplicably walked to bring up Erik Kratz, who earlier in the game had actually brought in the tying run. The pitcher, Edgar "I'm Not Edward James" Olmos then unintentionally walked Kratz to load the bases.
This was destiny. The universe doesn't often hand you a situation so perfectly gift wrapped as this one was for Mayberry. He went 1-1 on Olmos and then hit the next one out of the park. It was the Phillies first grand slam of the year (hit by someone on their team -- they've had more than enough grand slams hit off of their pitchers) and Mayberry's first career slam.
Though Mayberry stole the show tonight, some credit must be given to the 38,000 strong crowd at Citizens Bank Park. The boos were sustained much longer than anyone thought they would be, and the occasional "BOB YOU SUCK" chants were delightful. Phillies fans still care about what happens on the field, and these fans nearly stormed the diamond with torches and pitchforks to take Bob "Someone should have made me retire by now" Davidson hostage. Tell me, is there a job where you can fuck up majorly multiple times in ways that affect the outcomes of things but STILL keep your position? Because I want that job. Bob Davidson may not reach Scott Barry levels of infamy in Philadelphia, but his call was really really awful, and I think we should create a Kickstarter to raise the money to hire someone to boo Bob Davidson 24/7. Because I'd donate to that in a heartbeat.
There was a sign at CBP tonight for something called the "Horst Stables." I won't talk about that, and you can't make me. Instead, look at absolutely bonkers Fangraph.