Pat Burrell said in spring training that he would love to make his first All-Star Game this year.
He just might.
He entered last night's 7-4 victory over the Braves at Turner Field ranked first amongst National League outfielders in home runs (20), on-base-plus-slugging percentage (.998) and slugging percentage (.584); second in on-base percentage (.414); seventh in RBIs (51); and 11th in runs (45). Compared to every player in the National League, he ranked fourth in OPS, fifth in OBP and sixth in SLG.
Those are all-star worthy numbers right there.
Burrell, who hit a solo homer against the Braves, just has to hope the right people are paying attention. He won't win the fan vote, so that means players, coaches and managers, who vote for the reserves, have to have noticed Burrell. He had a very strong April, so perhaps that planted a seed in enough people's heads to get him a spot. If not, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle could add him, or he could end up on the online ballot where fans choose each team's final player.
Ryan Howard leads the National League with 71 RBIs. He is tied for fourth in the league with 21 homers.
But, oh, the average!
“That shows he’s contributing,” Charlie Manuel said of his homers and RBIs. “That shows he’s a run producer. Until we find somebody who can knock in 71, we might have to overlook (the batting average). I mean, who else has got 71?”
Howard booted two balls in the ninth inning that could have been costly, except Brad Lidge worked out of a bases loaded jam with two outs. Still, it forced Lidge to throw 28 pitches, which means you have to wonder how that might affect his availability tonight or later this week.
"I just botched a couple balls," Howard said. "It happens. The first ball was hit pretty hard. I welcome anybody to go out there and try to stand in front of that one. And the second one I absolutely just completely zooed it. I just messed it up. It happens sometimes."
Jim Salisbury offers a great behind-the-scenes look at the process that went into sending Brett Myers to triple-A Lehigh Valley, while Phil Sheridan got a chance to watch what he described as the strangest minor-league rehabilitation assignment in recent memory.
In the Phillies Notebook, the Phillies are scouting for starting pitching. Erik Bedard anybody?
Carlos Carrasco left last night's game with tightness in his right shoulder.