The Phightins gave a crowd of 43,000 plenty to cheer about on fan appreciation night, routing the Mets 16-6 in the final regular season home game of 2005.
The Phils tallied a season-high 20 hits and 16 runs, blowing the game open in a seven-run eighth inning.
Every starter notched a base hit and scored a run. Leading the way was Chase Utley, who went 3-5 with a three-run homer and five RBIs, raising his season total to 26 homers and 101 RBIs. Incredible.
David Bell and Kenny Lofton each had four hits, and Jimmy Rollins extended his hitting streak to 33 games with a debatable infield single in the first inning.
Shane Victorino hit his second career homer in the eighth, and Pat Burrell made it back-to-back homers with his 32nd of the season.
Ed Wade caught a lot of criticism for dealing for 38-year-old Kenny Lofton over the winter, but he’s been outstanding all season, giving the Phils a solid presence atop the lineup.
Shane Victorino continues to impress me. The Phils should enter next season with several economic and productive options in center field, including a possible job for the Rule 5 pick. I wouldn’t spend a dime on this position, and instead, focus on pitching, pitching and more pitching.
Chase Utley made my choice for team MVP a little easier tonight. With his feet firmly planted in Philadelphia soil - and with all the stories claiming what an outstanding leader he will eventually become - I believe we’re seeing the new face of this franchise.
Finally, tonight may have been the last time we see Vicente Padilla pitch in a Phillies uniform. I have a strong hunch the Phils will part ways with the enigmatic pitcher this offseason. Padilla earned the win tonight, going 6 1-3 innings and striking out seven.
For the season, he’s 9-12 with a 4.71 ERA and was probably the team's best pitcher in July and August. The season highlight came on July 17 when he tripled off Dontrelle Willis, another bizarre twist in Padilla's strange career.