Bonds hits 713th; Phillies get another W
Do you consider yourself a home run hitter? Barry Bonds, speaking to the media post-game, paused and said, “I’ve hit 713.”
Yes, 713 is in the record books. It came with two out in the sixth inning off Jon Lieber tonight in an ESPN Sunday Night telecast. The count was 2-1 and Lieber threw a sinker. Bonds took that picture swing of his and hit a towering drive toward right-center. The ball glanced off the McDonald’s sign that is mounted on the third deck in right field and wound into the hands of a fan seated in Section 202, Row 7, Seat 24, Carlos Oliveras, a 25-year-old from Puerto Rico.
When asked about the blast estimated at 450 feet, Charlie Manuel said, “I got to see it. Barry went after the golden arches.”
The big clock in left field read 9:41, p.m. that is. Bonds would have a chance to tie Babe Ruth in his next at-bat, one out in the eighth with a runner on first base. Aaron Fultz, a former Bonds teammate in San Francisco, swung and fouled off the first pitch. The next pitch was ball one. Then a swing and a miss followed by another ball. Fultz threw a change up and Bonds missed it. That same clock read 10:40 p.m. 59 minutes after hitting 713, Bonds had a shot at 714.
Following that strikeout, many of the 39,315 fans began filing out.
After the game, Bonds faced the media in the Media Room on the Service Level at Citizens Bank Park. He politely and quietly answered questions for over 30 minutes, sprinkling in some humor at times. He admitted all of the attention is a little draining and credited his mother who flew to Philadelphia for the last two games of the series for “helping me get my head on straight.” Who did most of the talking? “She did.”
When asked how he ranked Philadelphia fans, he replied, “This was light. This was nothing. L. A. is worse.”
Leslie Gudel of Comcast SportsNet questioned Barry, “You hit #13 in Philadelphia and #713 here. What changed?” Bonds smiled and said, “A 7”.
Bonds is gone from Philadelphia, perhaps forever. The homerun countdown moves to San Francisco where the Giants have a make-up game Monday night against the Houston Astros. Bonds may not play depending upon how he feels following the coast-to-coast late night flight.
The attendance number included 8,000 tickets sold during the day. The fans seemed louder than the first two games, both against Bonds and for the guys in the red hats. They saw the Phillies bang their way to their eighth straight win, their longest streak since 1991.
The Phillies have a day of rest on Monday before opening a three-game series against the New York Mets, owners of the best record in the league (21-10).
After a slow start in April, the Phillies are four games behind the Mets. Tuesday’s pitchers are Brett Myers and Pedro Martinez. Plenty of good tickets are available.
It should be interesting. After all, there’s a common bond in Philly for Bonds and New York teams.