Key series starts tonight in Shea Stadium. By the end of the three days, someone will be in sole possession of first place. It is important to take this series but there’s a long way to go in the season.
Joe Blanton, a low-key person by all newspaper accounts, makes his debut tonight. Some facts: (1) he hasn’t pitched in 13 days; (2) he has 15 career scoreless innings against the Mets), and (3) he hasn’t batted since high school.
When Pat homered in St. Louis and Oakland last month, it was the 27th and 28th different ball park in which he’s hit a home run, a Phillies record. He and Bobby Abreu began the year tied at 26.
Pat’s top three parks:
Citizens Bank Park 70
Veterans Stadium 44
Shea Stadium 18
All-time Shea HR leaders:
Mike Schmidt 26
Willie Stargell 26
Dick Allen 21
Chipper Jones 19
Pat Burrell 18
Over the past three seasons, the Phillies have the best second-half record in the NL, 134-91.
During that period of time, the Phillies also lead the NL in runs scored (1,289), an average of 5.73 runs per game, another league high.
Let’s hope the trend continues and starts tonight.