PHILADELPHIA – Greetings from Philly, where we all are kind of in the same boat today. That is one of the only things I like about interleague play. It provides a new experience. For most of us this is the first time we have been to Citizens Bank Park. Always fun to see something different. See how they might do things differently in the clubhouse or press box. Wander into the stands and concourses to get the vibe of the crowd. Something I appreciate and will only do one more time – at least until the new ballpark in Atlanta is completed – as this is my 29th current stadium. Citi Field is the only ballpark I have not been to.
Impressions? It is a bandbox. The flower boxes above the bullpens are quaint and make me think they should serve tea out there. I'm not crazy about the stadium seating, there is little charm on this side of the field but I do think the view is underrated. We always hear about the spectacular view at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, and it is, but this isn't bad either. The cityscape is impressive and you can even see the William Penn statue atop City Hall from here. Not bad at all.
I caught up with Chris Taylor for my radio pregame interview and he told me the guys are enjoying the city and ballpark. They are especially enjoying the clubhouse cook, who is providing them with a steady stream of Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwiches. You can actually hear the chef at work as the sound of metal spatula hitting grill never stopped during pregame activities. The sandwiches are so popular that there are signup sheets for who wants what when, before and after games, and that records are kept on what individuals and teams have consumed the most. The Mets hold the record, putting away 103 in one day. Corey Hart is on the list having finished seven in one day. Taylor said that he had just one so far but most likely would have another before the day was over. If he was not in the starting lineup he would have more.
On that note.
Austin Jackson, 8
Dustin Ackley, 7
Robinson Cano, 4
Kendrys Morales, DH
Kyle Seager, 5
Mike Zunino, 2
Logan Morrison, 9
Chris Taylor, 6
Roenis Elias, 1
We're in a National League park, so the pitcher hits. This will be the sixth game in which Logan Morrison plays right field for the Mariners. His last start there was April 6.
• The hip does not appear to be a concern for Felix Hernandez regarding his next start. He says he is okay and manager Lloyd McClendon says his start is not in jeopardy.
• McClendon has juggled the pitching once again, using the off day Thursday to do so. If they had stayed in rotation, Hisashi Iwakuma would make the Monday start against Texas at Safeco Field with one extra day's rest. Instead, Iwakuma will start the final game against Boston and Elias will be given an extra two days.
• We have run into a couple of former battery mates who are now doing TV for the Phillies. Jamie Moyer is broadcasting games and Ben Davis is doing the pre- and postgame on Comcast. Great to see both.