As Ken Mandel wrote in his notes on this website today, the Phillies got a “gorilla” off their backs by winning game one yesterday in dramatic fashion, Bobby Abreu’s walk-off, three-run homer in the last of the ninth.
A four-game losing streak isn’t a pleasant thing anytime, but in the middle of June, it is a blip. When it happens to start the season, it gets magnified.
Fortunately, the poorest start ever for the Phillies is still safe. That record is 0-8 in 1883, the first year for the Phillies franchise. The 1883 club and 1934 edition share the club record by starting out 0-5 at home.
Jimmy Rollins collected a hit in each game yesterday, giving him a streak of 41 of his last 42 games. You can imagine the excitement that would be going on now if the consecutive streak had reached 42.
Other numbers from yesterday:
**The twinbill was a Sunday first at Citizens Bank Park. When I was a kid, Sundays were always doubleheaders. Mondays were days off.
**The walk-up crowd of 8,300 was the largest since Citizens Bank Park opened two years ago. I remember games at Connie Mack Stadium when attendance didn’t reach 8,300.
**Over 52,500 hot dogs were sold on Hatfield Phillies Franks Dollar Dog Day. My dollar is among that number.
The new left field wall got its first test during the homestand. Three balls that would have been homers the first two years were turned into doubles. For those of you who are not aware, the left field wall was moved back five feet and raised from 8’ to 10’6”. The left field foul pole is still 329’. The wall angles five feet back from there, then across to section 146. The 369’ sign last year is now 374’.
One thing that was missing during the first homestand was Paul Richardson. The Phillies organist since 1970 is battling cancer. He informed the Phillies this winter that he would be unable to perform. It was the first time Richardson has missed opening day.
Paul is more than a musician. He’s an entertainer and a character and often a bearer of bad jokes. It was an empty feeling not seeing him opening day.
Richardson is the answer to a tricky trivia question: Who is the only person to play at Connie Mack Stadium, Veterans Stadium and Citizens Bank Park?