All-Star Break

In a weekend matchup of the two best teams in the NL with the two best pitching staffs, the Phillies closed out the first half by taking two of three from the Braves.

First two games were classic pitching duels which was expected.  Sunday appeared to follow the previous pair until the Phillies offense exploded, sending Cole to a rare easy win.  In Cole’s six June starts, the Phillies scored total of 15 runs.  Sunday, 14. Crazy.

So, the Phillies take a four-day All-Star break with the biggest lead of any division. It marks the fourth time in franchise history that they’ve held sole possession of first place on May 1, June 1, July 1 and the All-Star break.  Previous years were 1993, 2001 and 2008.

There are 71 more games to be played, including the final three in Atlanta. The season is far from over.

Meaningful Game
All-Star Game is Tuesday night in Phoenix.  Will blog more tomorrow about the Phillies’ All-Star Game history.

A few years ago, baseball decided the winning league in the game will receive the home field advantage in the World Series. 

This is huge.  If the AL wins, that means their champion will host four of the seven World Series games.  It also means four games with the use of a DH.  Putting it bluntly, are the Red Sox stronger with Big Papa as a DH for four potential games? Are they weaker because he can DH in only three potential games? One game in a World Series is big, really big.

BlueClaws Blog
Noticed this in the official blog of the Lakewood BlueCraws:
“Tony Graham (Asbury Park Press) talked to BlueClaws LHP Jesse Biddle about the experience of having a big leaguer in the clubhouse, in this case Phillies RHP Brad Lidge, who made three rehab appearances in Lakewood .
“‘It’s a real, professional attitude they bring,’ Biddle said of the major leaguers. ‘They’re fun, they buy us food and stuff. We love having them here. Lidge is pretty much a guaranteed shutout inning, at the beginning, at the end, it doesn’t really matter.
“Lidge said: ‘We’ve been talking about what the big leagues are like. I hope they aren’t  scared to come up and ask me questions because one of the things I think we owe  to the young guys when we do rehabs like this is to answer some questions they have and help them prepare for the major leagues.’”
Lidge will continue his rehab in a 12 noon game today in Reading.


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