Friday night was Pat Burrell's night to shine. The former Phillies' left fielder was inducted into the team's Wall of Fame prior to the game against the Braves, and his speech had just about everything you could possibly expect in it.
Sorry, John Kruk and Curt Schilling. Pat the Bat has you beat when it comes to recent speeches.
There was a reference to Jason Michaels' arrest some ten years ago, plenty of ribbing for Larry Bowa and Charlie Manuel, and even an expletive spewed. This was not your average family-friendly Wall of Fame speech.
After Burrell took his lap around the field in a brand spankin' new Toyota Tundra, the on-field action actually had to take place.
Atlanta's Williams Perez ended up having a good old "take one for the team" type of night.
The Phillies struck for four runs in the bottom half of first inning, including the bases-clearing three-run double from Ryan Howard into the right field gap.
Perez did settle in for the next three frames, but the 5th inning would doom the Braves' right-hander.
Domonic Brown continued his hot hitting by blasting a two-run homer to right. Don't look now, but Brown has been hitting the ball well since the All-Star Break. The Phillies' telecast talked a bit about Brown staying back on the ball and being more balanced at the plate. We'll need more than just a few weeks of proof, but Brown's been fun to watch over the last few weeks.
Perez yielded nine earned runs over his 4.1 innings.
David Buchanan continued the Phillies' strong pitching as of late, lasting 7 1/3 innings, scattering eight hits and three earned runs. Buchanan struck out four and did not walk a batter.
The Phillies can thank their hot second half to pitching. When you don't throw an injured Chad Billingsley, Severino Gonzalez and Kevin Correia out there every few days, things are probably going to work out a little bit better.
Dalier Hinojosa made his Phillies debut in the 9th inning, shutting the door on the Braves. Hinojosa, acquired off waivers from the Red Sox just about two weeks ago, could get a look with Jake Diekman no longer on the roster. He flashed a fastball in the 96-97 MPH range, and a decent slider that had some break on it.
We will, of course, bring it all back to Burrell on this night. The Phillies inducted a man who will be remembered as a legend into their Wall of Fame. Maybe that's not 100% for what he did on the field, if you catch our drift.
There's a chance the Phillies don't really have anyone to induct into the Wall of Fame for the next few years, as the well has run a bit dry. But for this Friday night, Burrell was the man of the hour. The buildup delivered. The speech delivered. Then, the Phillies went out and had some fun and beat a bitter rival. What else can you ask for?