The Phillies immediately ordered padding for that section of the fence, and it arrived at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday. The team planned to install it this weekend, while the Phillies are away in Cincinnati.
On Thursday night, the Phils center fielder made a remarkable over-the-shoulder, Willie Mays-esque catch in preserving Philadelphia's 2-0 rain-shortened victory over the Mets, slamming into the chain-link fence in center field and breaking his nose.
"It was the best catch I ever saw," said the left-handed reliever. "There's a big dent in the fence where he hit it. Aaron was going full speed after the ball, and you can almost see it in his face that he was going to hit the wall. I didn't think he had a chance to catch the ball. When he hit, his nose bled like a faucet. He was pretty dazed."Rowand was eventually led off the field under his own power, escorted by emergency medical technicians, a towel draped over his bloody face. As Rowand walked along the warning track to leave the park amid a raucous standing ovation, he motioned to one of the EMTs, asking if he could return to the dugout. One EMT shook his head and they led Rowand off the field. The catch seemed to fire up the Phillies. "It has to," Abreu said. "A play like that pumps you up. It shows you sacrifice everything to win a game." After Rowand's catch -- which will be talked about for years -- Utley cranked up the offense. He hopped on a 3-1 pitch from Mets starter Steve Trachsel and sent a high, arcing drive into the right-field stands for a quick 1-0 Phillies lead. Floyd, meanwhile, regained his control after his shaky first, retiring 12 of the next 15 batters he faced. He surrendered a one-out double to Ramon Castro in the second and a two-out double to Kazuo Matsui in the fourth. Nine of Floyd's 12 outs from the second through the fifth innings were ground balls. Floyd averted some mild trouble in the fourth, thanks to a fine defensive play by Bell. After it appeared Floyd would post his second straight 1-2-3 inning, he left a pitch up to Matsui, who roped the double to right. Castro was intentionally walked, bringing up Trachsel. Floyd got Trachsel to ground sharply to third, where Bell had to make a diving stop to finish off the Mets. The Phils added another run in the fourth, when Bell singled home Shane Victorino, who tripled and doubled playing in place of Rowand. Floyd then ended the Mets' chances in the fifth with a perfect inning, catching Carlos Beltran looking at a called third strike. That's when the rains came, prompting home-plate umpire Jim Joyce to call out the grounds crew at 8:54 p.m. ET.
Ninety-seven minutes later, the game was called. Floyd posted his first career shutout, and Rowand will wake up Friday morning with a headache and two black eyes -- but a memory to savor forever.
Joe Santoliquito is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.