Veteran right-hander Father John Sweeney entered the pulpit just before the recitation of the Creed and remained in the Mass until the final blessing. Father Sweeney gets credit for a save.
Archbishop Donald Wuerl, who is managing the Papal visit, said he thought the emotion and energy of the occasion may have affected the rookie Pope. “This early in the liturgical season, a lot of Popes tend to over-preach, and I think Benedict was guilty of that today.” Archbishop Wuerl provided another excuse for the Papal fatigue. “He was saying Mass on only four days rest. In hindsight, we probably shouldn’t have moved him up in the rotation.”
Speaking to reporters gathered around his locker room stall following the Mass, Pope Benedict expressed feelings of disappointment and relief. “I knew by the time I finished the homily I didn’t have much in the tank,” he said. “But I’ve got all the confidence in the world in my teammates. Father Sweeney really picked me up out there today.” The Pope said he would spend the next forty-eight hours looking at film and working on his mechanics. “A lot of people came to the park today expecting to see me go the distance,” he said. “I’ve got to take a better approach next time.”