Phillies-Braves: A First Hand Look at the Icy Winds of April
Last night (April 7) I was down at Citizens Bank Park for the second Philadelphia Phillies game of the season.
It was a cold one.
Temperature gauges read 35 degrees, but in all reality it was really five to 10 below once you factor a 20 mph breeze and 35 mph wind gusts.
Now I saw a crowd of roughly 41,000 to 43,000 (10,000 to 20,000 by the seventh inning) last night froze their you-know-whats off to watch some baseball. It was a marquee match-up. The young flamethrower versus the ageless veteran.
It could not get much better than that.
If you were a Braves fan, that is.
The Braves' bats came alive early; actually on the very first pitch of the ball game. Kelly Johnson launched a Jamie Moyer slow pitch into section 106 out in right field.
After giving up another run in the first, Moyer seemed to settle down—until the fifth when Chipper Jones launched a Moyer pitch for a home run. You can try to judge how a pitched did by his stats, but you have to see how he did physically on the mound.
Did he keep his emotions in check?
Did he sulk after giving up a home run?
Did he bounce back and get the next guy out?
Did he maintain composure?
The Fightin' Phils bats seem to have come alive last night, despite not scoring any runs. There big three left-handed hitters combined for five for 12 with four singles and a double.
The Phillies were hitting the ball well, I guess it was a combination of the wind knocking a lot of the balls down, or they were just hitting them at people.
The bullpen once again proved to be a strong point, has the bullpen shut down the Braves potent offensive attack for four innings, and the rest of the game.
Last night, new reliever/ spot fifth starter, Chan Ho Park got his first taste of Philadelphia, coming in to pitch in the sixth inning. Park pitched a perfect sixth, and was followed by Jack Taschner, who tossed two scoreless innings.
Clay Condrey followed Taschner in the ninth inning. Condrey pitched a perfect ninth inning. It looked like Condrey had gained a little weight from last season, but nevertheless the big Texan struck out two in the ninth.
Am I worried about the Phillies losing the first two games of the season? Hell no. Everyone knows the first two weeks of the season, players are just trying to get back in the swing of things. I am not worried at all.
No. What worries me is the lack of true fans. This may be a small rant, but what gives fans the right to boo their own team? I don't care how much you paid for your ticket(s), you boo the play—not the player.
Brett Myers did not deserve to get booed. Yes, granted he gave up three home runs, but he struck out seven or eight and settled down after those home runs.
I guess those fans who are booing within 17 minutes of the first pitch of the 2009 regular season were the ones that used to boo Pat Burrell in left field.
Also, what worries me is the fans who are leaving in the fifth, sixth, or seventh innings to beat traffic home or to go get drunk at McFadden's, rather than sit outside in the cold and support their team.
Next I go down to catch a Phillies game, I'm starting a new chant. Okay, well it was stolen from the "Bleacher Creatures" up at Yankee Stadium. But I never saw or heard about any copyright or trademark on it! So intellectual property is null and void here.
Yes it is the famed "Roll Call", only with Philadelphia Phillies players.
I am not worried about the Phillies at all.
Next game: vs. Atlanta, today, 4/8/2009
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