There are days when Raul Ibanez has to be dragged out of the cage. He was like that at 29. He's still like that at 39. The left-hander is all about putting in the time, which sometimes in the end, means the spotlight is on him. That part makes him totally uncomfortable. Example: Sunday. Ibanez carried the Phillies in their 6-5 win over the Pirates at Citizens Bank Park. He homered twice, including a two-run shot in the eighth inning that tied the game at 5, and drove in the game-winning run with a walk-off, RBI double in the 10th inning, giving the Phils their fifth series sweep of the season. He smiled after the game. He answered every question thrown his way. But he was reluctant - again- to take credit for what's he done, acknowledge his success, or play up his most recent tear. "[I am] just really trying to take it one day at a time," Ibanez said. "Not looking behind me and I'm not looking ahead of me." In the last three weeks, Ibanez has been an RBI machine. Over the course of his last 21 games, he's driven in 25 runs and hit .306 (26-for-85) with seven home runs. On Sunday, he was 3-for-5 with four RBIs. He hit a solo shot in the second that put the Phillies ahead 1-0. His two-run home run to left-center field in the eighth dug the Phillies out of a 5-3 hole and knotted things up at 5. Then in the 10th after Hunter Pence ripped a one-out double down the left-field line, Ibanez drilled a 1-0 fastball off left-handed reliever Tony Watson to right that scored Pence for the game's deciding run.
Even as the hero, Ibanez remains modest
Allentown Morning Call | Aug 1