In one of the more exciting baseball games in recent memory, Pat Burrell deposited a Chad Qualls pitch in the stands to give the Phillies a win over the NL-West leading Diamondbacks in front of 45,277 fans at Citizens Bank Park today.
Burrell, who lost the All-Star final vote to Milwaukee Brewers Corey Hart, finishes the first half of the season with 23 HR’s, 57 RBI and is hitting .275. Combine that with his league-leading total of walks (69) and the fifth-best on-base-percentage in the league (.407) and you have quite the five hitter behind Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. And to think, he’s putting up these stats having only played the Mets 10 times so far.
Combined, the three have hit 76 home runs (Howard 28, Utley 25, Burrell 23) and have drove in 210 of the Phillies’ 475 runs. The team is second in homers with 130 (5 behind Florida) and have scored 75 more runs than they have allowed.
Still, at the break, they only lead that Mets by a game (plus whatever the Mets do later tonight) and the Marlins by 1.5 games. Despite hitting number than can and should get better (Rollins, where are you?), the Phils desperately need some pitching help. Adam Eaton has been miserable of late, and he is not included as a probable pitcher for next weekend’s series in Florida against the Marlins. Instead, Jamie Moyer, Kyle Kendrick and Cole Hamels will get the ball, leaving speculation as to what is going on with Eaton. If yesterday’s performance is any indication, not seeing his name is a blessing. One should never give up a double to Randy Johnson.
So let’s take a break, Phils are in first place still and let’s wait and see if Chase can screw up his stroke in the Home Run Derby tomorrow night at the Big House in the Bronx.