There was so much rain at Citizens Bank Park yesterday, you almost expected a guy named Noah to trot out of the Toronto Blue Jays' bullpen in the sixth inning.
Much to the Phillies' chagrin, however, the guy who came out of the 'pen was Roy Halladay, one of the top starting pitchers in the game, the 2003 American League Cy Young winner.
Looking for reasons why the Phillies couldn't complete a comeback against the Jays in the finale of a six-game homestand?
Make sure you include Halladay's first relief appearance since 2001.
"You have to give him credit," Phillies slugger Pat Burrell said after a marathon day of baseball ended with a 6-5 loss at the hands of the Jays. "That's their ace and he says, 'I want the ball.' That's impressive."
The game was delayed twice by rain for a total of 2 hours, 43 minutes. It took nearly six hours to complete the contest.
The second delay came with two outs in the sixth inning. Chase Utley had doubled in a run, cutting Toronto's lead to 6-4. There were two outs and the Phils had runners on first and second with Burrell due to face rookie lefty Jesse Carlson.
What was left of the crowd of 42,858 was hoping for a big hit from Burrell. What it got was a downpour. The umpires called for the tarp and a 39-minute delay followed.
The big question was who would pitch for Toronto when play resumed.
Halladay answered that question when he walked to the bullpen as the rain began to let up.
"In the dugout, we were thinking he might be out of his element," said catcher Chris Coste. "We weren't thinking, 'This is Roy Halladay, we have no shot.' "
When play resumed, Halladay retired Burrell on a pop to first. End of threat. Halladay then pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth.
"Halladay came in and kind of stopped our momentum," Phils manager Charlie Manuel said.
Who knows how Burrell would have fared if the rain had held off and he was able to face Carlson in the sixth?
Burrell actually was glad the umpires called for the tarp.
"It was fine with me," he said. "I don't like hitting when it's pouring. It's hard enough to hit without doing it in the rain, with raindrops falling off your helmet.
"Given the situation, which guy would I rather have faced? It's all relative."
The Phils did mount another rally, this one against closer B.J. Ryan in the ninth. Burrell was in the middle of it, clouting a mammoth second-deck homer to left with two outs to make it a one-run game. That was followed by a pinch-hit double by Coste. With the tying run at second, Ryan struck out Eric Bruntlett swinging on a pitch up and out of the strike zone to end the game.
Bruntlett's game-ending K raised the Phils' left-on-base total to 11. They were just 3 for 13 with runners in scoring position.
"That was a game of missed opportunities," Manuel said.
While the Phillies failed to cash in on a number of opportunities, the Blue Jays made the most of some big hits.
Lyle Overbay hit a three-run pinch-hit homer off Chad Durbin in the fifth. An inning later, Shannon Stewart doubled in two against Rudy Seanez, and Rod Barajas followed with an RBI single.
The first rain delay started before the second inning. It lasted 2 hours, 4 minutes. Neither starting pitcher, the Phils' Kyle Kendrick nor the Blue Jays' Shaun Marcum, returned when it ended.
Marcum stayed around long enough to give up Ryan Howard's 10th homer, a long, two-run blast to center.
The rain stopped just in time for Scott Rolen to lead off the second inning. He, of course, was booed loudly, but that didn't stop the Jays from leaving town with two wins in the three-game series.
Todd Zolecki's blog:
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