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.
Welcome to the second edition of “Keep the Change.”
Don’t look know, but going into their second short series in a week against the Mets, the Phils are the hottest team in the National League and have risen to the top of the NL East. What did we take out of last weekend’s series? Well … not much … not much at all really after Sunday’s rain, which hasn’t left the area since, washing out the rubber match.
The Two-Game Split
Friday night, the excitement was in the air. Sadly, Chan Ho Park was on the mound. Last week, a couple readers questioned whether the fans knew anything about J.A. Happ. After another ugly start by Park, more and more fans are getting familiar the possibility of seeing Happ in the rotation. Phillies fans are generally a pretty well-educated bunch, and it doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to see that Park won’t be in the rotation for much longer. Joe Blanton’s strong start Monday night against the Cardinals definitely did not help Park’s status, either.
One fan summed up Park as “this year’s Adam Eaton.” Tough to argue with him. Hell, the Mets fans at The Bank were pretty happy when Charlie Manuel let Park work through his struggles, just because it meant more innings out of him.
Saturday, the Phils got to the Mets bullpen. The Achilles heel of New York was right back at it again. If you can leave K-Rod sitting in the bullpen, chances are you are going to put up some runs. If you told me the Phillies would manufacture a run without getting the ball out of the infield to win a game, I’d be pretty surprised. If you had told me it would come against the Mets bullpen … not as surprised.
The Rivalry … Slows Down?
Will the Mets fans dish it out as hard as we did last weekend? Tough to tell, but something was missing this weekend. I know it was early in the season, but it didn’t seem as many New Yorkers made the trek down the Turnpike as they had in years past. I guess walking into the stadium of the World F’n Champions can be a little intimidating.
Finally, two random observations from walking the stadium:
- I did not see one attractive female Mets fan. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not above looking at a woman regardless of if she likes the enemy. The Beerman’s eyes don’t discriminate. Could I date a Mets fan? Of course not, but I’d look. BUT THERE WERE NONE IN ATTENDANCE! The Phillies female followers did not disappoint, as always.
- Mets fans smell like hoagies. I don’t know what it is. But all Mets fans smell like hoagies to me. When they walk past me, I just pick up a whiff of salami and onions. Go figure.
See you in the stands … or next week. Whichever comes first?