Friday, May 05, 2006

One night down, still two homers to go for Barry to catch The Babe.
But Philly fans -- a few of them, anyway -- already caught a little flak in the post-game interview in Giants manager Felipe Alou's office.

Talking about a bad ankle sprain his son, Moises, suffered in the third inning while chasing a foul pop, Felipe said both he and his son thought at first it was a replay of a disastrous injury Moises suffered in 1993, catching his spikes in turf, fracturing his fibula and dislocating an ankle.

"He had the same feeling that he had when he was hurt in St. Louis and broke the leg," the elder Alou said.

While father and son were still fretting while waiting for a cart to remove Moises, Bonds came over to them, and according to the elder Alou, a few fans seated nearby began booing.

Said Alou: "Mo's down, and Barry comes over as a teammate. And two or three guys are booing. That's cheap. Very cheap."

Until tomorrow, Bonds followers...

Just noticed a little post-game note that the daft decision-makers at Major League Baseball decided they're going to authenticate all the balls for his at-bats.

Stamp them with a giant "S" or something.

So that means all the batting practice homers he hit tonight couldn't have been sold outside had he tied Ruth's mark. It'll avoid what would have been mass confusion when Bonds does hit No. 714 and 715.

Since the Phils' lead is 8-3 and Fultz is rolling through this eighth, Bonds' night at the plate is probably over.

He goes oh-for-3 with an intentional walk on a night that the Phillies pounded a season-high five home runs (the last one from Aaron Rowand, two for Utley and Howard), and the Giants have two from Randy Winn and Omar Vizquel.

Next pitch ... ripped to right and just foul down the line.

Fultz cranks again and it's heat down the middle for 2-2.

The count goes full and ... strike three swinging.

The adoring crowd goes crazy as Bonds waved at a slider from his old teammate Fultz with something taken off it.

And now to get the fans in the mood to mouth off again ... the dinos in the PA department are playing YMCA ... ugh.

So now here comes Bonds, facing reliever Aaron Fultz, and the crowd is really singing now.

Starts him with two balls.

And now a word about our dearly departed players ... though Burrell is having problems with his taped up right leg, he left tonight with a lame left hamstring.

And even though the Phillies fans are trying hard to solidify their reputation was America's Most Unwanted stadium set, they issued a very classy ovation when Moises Alou left on a cart with what later was diagnosed as a sprained ankle.

As for those just coming in here in the seventh inning, is Rheal Cormier undergoing a renassaince? You know, I never could spell that word.

Anyway, Cormier, who came in with a 12.2 innings scoreless string, inherited a first- and second-base jam with no outs. He promptly turned a one-hopper into a double play, then got Mark Sweeney on a fly to left to bail out starter Gavin Floyd.

Nutty Tim Worrell just came in for the Giants to pitch the home half, and the King of Pop is scheduled to lead off the top of the eighth.

On the next pitch, Bonds shows the hustle that made him famous. He dribbles a grounder up the first base line, with the Phillies playing in a shift. Ryan Howard jumped on it and they turn a 3-5-4 ... yes, 3-5-4 ... double play.

Barry jogged the whole way.

And now, the King of Pop. Up with one out and a runner on first here in the fifth, and with Kid Gavin still out there pitching.

First one is a 90 mph fastball for a ball, then a nifty curve for a strike.

This is getting ridiculous. Fun, but ridiculous.

Ryan Howard and Chase Utley now have two home runs each as the Phillies have assumed a 6-3 lead in the home fourth, looking to stretch their winning streak to six and ... excuse me for a minute ...

HEY BARRRRRYYYYYY!!!!!

Um, you want to join in here? The choice staff here at Citizens Bank Park has worked so hard for your arrival, and on another magical night in the dream park where every pitch has an even money chance of ending up in a bullpen or flower bed beyond the fence ... Bonds is coming up in the fifth looking for a knock, himself.

He's scheduled to hit third, so chances are Charlie will have another free pass waiting for him.

Meanwhile, as for that other team's left fielder, isn't getting a little ridiculous what's going on with Pat Burrell?

He just went into a take-out side, which was unfortunate because he would have been safe with a real slide because of a bad throw. Anyway, Burrell was tagged out and then barely was able to stand up.

His legs are a mess. His offseason surgery for bone chips left him overcompensating for the pain, and now he has aches up and down his taped up leg. He just came out of this game, too.

And Charlie gives him a pass!!!

The very manager who Thursday said something to the effect of, "I can't see walking him 12 times," just gave Bonds an intentional pass with Vizquel on second.

The fans are really booing now that Bonds has just collected career intentional walk No. 620. But this is a smart move by Charlie ... I repeat: This is a smart move by Charlie ... oops.

Base hit by Moises Alou, and now it's 3-3.

Dumb move, Chuck.

Tune up your vocal chords, fans, cause here he comes...

Barry's on-deck, probably salivating at the notion of a bandbox ballpark with a breeze going out to right and an atmosphere alive with the flight of baseballs.

The latest to go yard was Giants leadoff hitter Randy Winn, who just led off this third inning with a drive to the back of the lower stands in right to cut the Phillies lead to 3-2. Floyd has a penchant for getting his medium-speed pitches up.

Now comes Bonds, to a chorus of boos...

Fans with one-glove hands -- the baseball kind, not that Michael Jackson look from 20 years ago -- are jammed into the stands in right, in anticipation of catching a Barry blast.

Bonds popped out on one pitch in his only appearance so far, but those fans have already been sent scrambling as the Phillies' young noisemakers Chase Utley (upper deck in right) and Ryan Howard (clearing a corner of the stands and into the bullpen) each sent rockets glaring to right in the bottom of the first as the Phillies take a 2-1 lead.

But the whole time, even through the home run cheers, the jeers continued in left as Bonds -- let's call him the King of Pop -- is seranaded with chants of his name during the inning.

It was quite a batting practice show by Bonds, who by actual count -- (and you thought this wasn't hard work?) -- hit 13 of 21 BP tosses out of park, to the delight of all the young fans on hand to cheer their hero on tonight.

This includes one young guy recognized as an Ocean City High graduate who could play a little point guard there. He's in the left field bleachers wearing a sumo wrestler's suit with a sign saying "San Francisco Barry," and another guy with him, skinny as a rail, is wearing a sign saying "Pittsburgh Barry."

But enough frivolity ... the game just started. And of course Gavin Floyd has already given up a home run to Omar Vizquel, and now ... pop goes Barry Bonds, out on the first pitch to him thrown by Floyd.

A nice pop fly to Bobby Abreu, with the crowd booing when he came up and cheering when he went down...

The boos continue as Barry trots out to left, and he seems to be looking at the turf behind him, perhaps in search of plastic syringes, which was the favored choice of San Diego fans on Opening Day.

Bonds is really hearing it out there from the bleacher bums in left.

Barry's Road Show arrived quietly at Citizens Bank Park this afternoon. Apparently, no fans tried to board the bus or rock it onto its side.

But the road show transformed into a media roadblock in the visitors clubhouse, as about 100 bored writer types stood around the hallways and in the room basically getting in the players' way.

Bonds didn't talk -- a few short comments would have helped move the crowd back outside, but why bother? -- and no public relations traffic cops appeared on the scene.

Over in that other clubhouse, the Phillies were reveling in the sudden disinterest in them.

"Let me ask you something," said a deeply interested Ryan Howard, who obviously is already planning a media career after he breaks Barry Bonds' home run record in another 15 years or so. "How much do you guys like this stuff? You guys are all in a frenzy, right?"

Oh, yeah. Absolutely. It's all about Barry.

For good measure, he gave the media a silent show, donning what can only be described as a bungee harness and pulling a trainer up and down the hallway. Forwards, backwards, sidewards and big-head first ... while the trainer offered smiling resistence.

See media, Barry really does work out hard.

Once outside, his reality show really kicked in with a batting practice that had the arriving fans going ooh, ahh, and generally reveling in their good fortune to be able to watch it all during what everybody expects is Bonds' last Philadelphia visit.

Well, maybe after Bud Selig asks him to retire, he'll come here to take in a game and talk to his buddy Cory Lidle.

For now, though, Barry's looking pumped up (sorry) for this game.