I find it only fitting that I return from a short hiatus to document the invasion of Red Sox nation into Philadelphia so that it can be accounted first hand.
Last night the "Nation" invaded it's latest city as the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox opened a three game set of inter-league play in Philly on Monday night. The game featured the Phils ace, Cole Hamels against an obviously out of shape Bartolo Colon.
The Sox have been facing the injury bug as of late and entered the series without Big Papi, Daisuke, Curt Schilling and Kevin Youklis so the idea that the Phils were facing the "real" Sox would be brought up numerous times throughout the night.
Unfortunately for the Red Sox, the Phils offense put everyone's mind to rest as it took off right from the get go.
Jimmy Rollins started the game off quick with a lead off home run that quieted many of the visiting Red Sox fans who tried to out cheer the Philadelphia natives. Three batters later, Ryan Howard hit an opposite field shot to extend the lead to 3-0 before the end of the first. The Phils would add another run in the third inning off Ryan Howards second home run of the night.
Hamels proved to be a strong ace for the staff and didn't allow a run to the Sox potent offense until the fifth inning when Dustin Pedroia and JD Drew went back to back bringing the score to 4-2. That would be all the Sox would muster against Hamels though who went 7 strong innings for the Phils.
Philadelphia's offense would all but put the game away in the sixth as the Phils put four more runs on the board against Mike Timlin and capped off a series win in what many are calling a potential World Series Preview.
Although the Phillies probably won't face the "real" Red Sox during this home stand as many of their stars face injuries, they are making a strong statement for their push to the playoffs. Of course they still have two games left against the Sox and then take on the Angels in the weekend series, so time will tell if this team has what it takes.