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Thursday, May 3, 2012
Welcome to the craziest day of the season

By David Schoenfield

Baseball is awesome. Did we need to say anything else? Do we need to hire Terry Cashman to write a ballad about this day? Do we need to pen epic poems about Chipper Jones and Jered Weaver and Bryce Harper and the intentional walk?

Man, I need to catch my breath.

How do you sum up the wildest game of the season so far? I guess pretty simply: The Phillies, a team that scores runs with about the same frequency of a Serie A soccer team, totaled 13 runs ... in a game Roy Halladay started ... and lost.

The Phillies led 6-0, the Braves scored six off Halladay in the fifth (including a Brian McCann grand slam) and then took an 8-6 lead (the first time he's allowed eight runs in a game since Aug. 24, 2009). The Phillies surged back ahead 12-8, the Braves took a 13-12 lead with five runs in the bottom of the eighth (as Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon apparently isn't allowed to pitch more than one inning or three days in a row), the Phillies tied in the ninth on Shane Victorino's two-out infield single, and then ...

Well, then, Larry Wayne Jones stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 11th inning. He hammered a 2-2 slider from Brian Sanches down the right-field line, but it hooked a few feet line. I tweeted, "Dang, a Chipper walk-off would have been pretty cool on this wild day."

Two pitches later, he crushed a 3-2, 88-mph meatball over the center-field fence, watching the ball fly away into the Atlanta evening and flipping his bat in a dismissive swagger. "I may be 40 years old with creaky knees, but don't try and slip that mediocre slop by me," he seemed to say.

Braves 15, Phillies 13.

It was the 458th regular-season home run in his career. Few have felt sweeter, especially since the Braves had lost eight straight games to the Phillies.

"I wish everyone could experience that feeling right there," Jones said on postgame on-field TV interview, trying to catch his breath after enduring the mosh pit at home plate. "That game, without a doubt, takes the cake as far as my career goes. You figure with Halladay and [Tommy] Hanson, it's going to be a 2-1 game."

When Jones says he's never seen a game like it, you know what it was something amazing.

And here are a few more adventures from not just another Wednesday in early May:

One day in baseball. I say we do it again.

Follow David Schoenfield on Twitter @dschoenfield.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

Ian Desmond
As Ian Desmond comes home after his game-winning walkoff shot, he was understandably pleased.