A Football Game Breaks Out at CBP
At least that's what the final score would seem to have indicated last night, as the Phillies clobbered the Expos, 17-7. A night after they had set a record of 14 runs in their new digs, the locals smashed that record last night with an offensive explosion. Todd Zolecki, Mark Kram, and Dennis Deitch file the game stories. While taking in the new park last night, I was wondering why Bowa replaced Pat Burrell at the end of the 4th. According to today's stories, he apparently suffered a mild sprained groin, and should return to action tonight. Kram echoes WIP's Glen Macnow's sentiments from last night after the game, that Eric Milton is the "most umimpressive" 10-2 pitcher in the majors. The Libery Bell (nice touch by the park designers I might add, distinctly "Philadelphia") was ringing so much last night, Paul Hagen says this seemed like "arena baseball." Phil Sheridan cautions against unbridled optimism: "If Wade doesn't do something significant to help this team before July 31 - the sooner the better, frankly - he will not be able to ask the fans, the manager or the current players to trust his judgment." Zolecki's notebook takes another look at David Bell's hitting for the cycle on Monday night (this wasn't the first time someone in his family accomplished that). Mike Olshin looks at the irony that "there was only one Phillies starter who didn't finish with a hit last night. Major-league home run leader Jim Thome. Go figure."
Ed Moran says Mark Recchi already has one foot out the door as free agency approaches tonight at midnight.
As far as the ballpark is concerned, it's truly a great place to catch a game. While the endless offense last night led to quite a long game (much better than the multiple-rain-delay-induced long affairs from a couple weeks ago, to be sure), Citizens Bank Park is definitely a great place to take the family to see a game. Throughout the park, in both the upper and lower levels, there was plenty of space to grab a bite to eat, and stand at the back of a particular section, without missing any of the action. By the second inning, the lines at Geno's and Tony Luke's were ridiculously long, and not worth the likely half hour wait (though the site lines from the outfield area were OK). I don't know if the "blowout nature" affected this (though the Phillies did allow things to get interesting for a little while there in the 5th), but I did notice there didn't seem to be any "electricity" in the ballpark. It seemed to be missing the "buzz" that you would get at a Fenway Park, or one of the older parks. That could be just the nature of a 162-game season, or the fans still getting "used" to the new park (similiar things were said about the Linc when it first opened). If you closed your eyes for a minute, you might not have been able to tell you weren't still at the Vet. But, overall, a pretty enjoyable evening.
CSN has the final game of Expos-Phillies at 7:05.