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Keep The Change: ‘Ruaaaaaaaal!’

This is “Keep the Change,” a new feature by Nick “The Beer Man” Staskin. Nick is a beer man at Citizens Bank Park; he’ll post weekly with observations from the fans at the park, trying to get a good sense of where the Phillies stand in the eyes of those who most matter.

BeermanHello all! Being a Beer man at Citizens Bank Park, I hear a lot while roaming the stands. The boys here at Phillies Nation have given me the opportunity to share with you what other fans are talking, ranting and screaming about on a weekly basis.

We will touch on some of the good stuff, some of the bad stuff and well some of the ridiculous stuff.

Raul Ibanez

I can’t remember one player who has won over the fans in a shorter time than RAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUULLLLLLLL.

Since my sections are primarily in left field, it is hard to not hear the love that is crying out for the Phillies new leftfielder. Ibanez is off to a torrid pace and has given the fans something to talk about.

Going into this weekend’s series against the Mets, Ibanez is first or second in every offensive category on the team…including stolen bases. The excitement behind the new slugger is certainly justified. However, the thing fans need to remember is that Pat Burrell was notorious for putting up some big Aprils.

If Ibanez can contribute throughout the year and give some well needed protection behind Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth in the 5 and 6 spot in the lineup, the Phillies should have no problem topping last year’s run total of 799.

One last tidbit: Ibanez projected totals through April: .359 BA, 57 HR, 138 RBI.
Burrell’s projected totals through last April: .326 BA, 48 HR, 144 RBI.

The Pitching

Comeback wins can definitely make you forget that the team has an ERA floundering close to 6.00. While the wins have been exciting, the Phils’ pitching has been anything but.

The general consensus seems to be that eventually Cole Hamels will stop getting unlucky, settle down and stop leaving games with freak injuries. Brett Myers has already started to turn it around and keep the ball in the stadium and Jamie Moyer is what he is. Joe Blanton and Chan Ho Park? The fans aren’t as optimistic. People seem to think it is only a matter of time before J.A. Happ is in the rotation…but who will he replace? That is anybody’s guess. Blanton and Park have been almost equally awful; with Blanton being a tad worse as his WHIP is an awful 1.97.

Best Thing in the Seats This Week?

A sign in section 141 on Wednesday night that a 20-something year old man was holding:

“Thank You Pat…But Rual Is All That”

I’m not sure who Rual is…but the phans sure did get a good laugh out if it…

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