SATURDAY MARCH 3, 2019
Bryce Harper day! A great day for it. The temperature got up to 81 and it was sunny all day. The crowd looked like a full house. It turns out that the attendance was 10,286, the biggest crowd so far this year. It is not the biggest crowd the Phils have ever drawn in this stadium, but more than most spring training games. A couple of times the Phils have exceeded 11,000. They say the stadium seats 7,500 so the Phils had the ole shoe horn working today. It would be nice to see the Phils start to sell out again like they did when they were winning. Maybe the fans would have to stage another “Occupy Nationals Stadium”. That would really aggravate the Nationals fans, what with Bryce Harper and all.
I think that an interesting thing happened in the first inning that could portend events in the future. The pitcher, Shoemaker, walked Bryce Harper and Hoskins promptly jacked the ball out of the park. With all the hoopla that the Harper signing has brought, maybe the other team will forget Hoskins. If they put Harper on, that automatically makes Hoskins getting better pitches to hit. What the world seems to have forgotten is that Harper and Hoskins had nearly the same hitting stats last year. Having a right handed and left handed one back to back in the lineup can’t be fun for the opposing pitcher. By the way, it looked to me like the Hoskins blast cleared the Frenchy’s sign on top of the tiki bar. Our lackadaisical announcing crew couldn’t seem to make up their minds if it did, or didn’t. A bit of personal nostalgia, the first home run that I saw hit in that stadium was in a Phils’ intrasquad game. Pat Burrell hit one over that sign.
Speaking of our crack TV crew, they sent me into a rage when they left the game to go interview Bryan Dawkins. While they did that, they didn’t bother to announce hitters. There were two hits during that interview that I still don’t know who hit them. What? Tommy Mack step out for a short snort?
I don’t think Arrieta looked sharp today. He looked a little wilder to me than usual. I’d say he is a little behind schedule at this point in spring training. Dominguez got off to a rough start but settled in. Neris looked really sharp, but Ramos continues to struggle.
Two outfielders who are having a good spring are Lane Adams and Dylan Cozens. They each had a homer today. For the spring so far, they are each hitting .333. I only remember Adams briefly with the Braves, but he is interesting in that he has some speed and a good arm. Of course Cozens has been everybody’s coming Babe Ruth for some time now, but this is his third homer of the spring. Another guy who is hitting over his reputation is Mitch Walding. It would be nice to have a little competition at third base.
The next home game is Monday against the Rays. That is always a big crowd. You may see as much blue as red in the stadium for that game. The Rays have moved so far down the coast(Port Charlotte) that the local Rays fans count this as a home game.