Let me count the ways:
1. Cole Hamels looked very sharp.
2. Brad Lidge held the fort.
3. Carlos Ruiz, erroneously called out at third early in the game, accounted for both runs, a sacrifice fly and a walk-off home run.
The Phils still aren't hitting with any consistency but when Cole Hamels can put together eight fine innings like last night combined with Roy Halladay's normal outings the team can afford occasional lulls. Most impressively, Hamels had his best fastball of the season in terms of velocity and that makes his change, always tough, even more deadly. He mixed in a curve or three, still not as effective a pitch, worked his way out of a jam or two and almost threw a shutout. Only the onfield intrusion of another Phillies fan, the second in as many nights, prevented the smooth completion of Hamels' appointed rounds. Later he claimed the work stoppage did not affect him, but his body language suggested otherwise.
What can we say about Carlos Ruiz? Quietly but firmly he has taken over this team's leadership along with Chase Utley. He has the full attention and respect of the pitching staff and coaches. He has hit effectively since the last part of 2009. He has even allowed himself to voice or at least show the occasional displeasure with the umpires, holding and framing a pitch he thinks is a strike. In sum, he has emerged as a confident veteran who is literally and figuratively the backstop of this team.
As for the second fan in as many nights to decide the field is his personal showcase, the solution should be an ordinance raising the fine for such behavior to a high enough level to discourage all but the most inebriated fans for whom nothing, not even Tasers, will be much of a deterrent An announcement at the beginning and during the game informing fans they will be a lot poorer for their antics should become as standard as the seventh inning stretch.
The use of a taser was excessive and inappropriate the other night. It has been demonstrated those devices can produce serious if not fatal injury. While there is evidence (Kansas City) some fans can be very dangerous, such was not the case the other night when the fool in question simply ran around in circles. In the end, he was shot in the back, posing no danger to the officer in question or to anyone else. The next night the president of the FOP suggested the kids' parents also be "tasered", a brilliant idea if what we want is more not less bad behavior. He also said the use of the taser would prevent any further intrusions onto the field in the near future. He sure had his finger on that pulse!