It’s hot out there. I don’t know if you noticed. To everyone who has said to me that they love this weather in the last 72 hours I want to travel back in time, put on my metal golf cleats, and stomp on their dang ankle bone. It’s too hot for May, but there is one undeniable result of this blessed heat and humidity–the balls jump. I was playing golf Saturday and it was that round you play every year where all your distance comes flooding back. I hit some pretty robust 3-woods. I bunnied a sand wedge into a hole that had required an 8-iron on a recent visit. Back before golf balls were juiced guys would set them on the dash of their cars, or warm them in a toaster. Did it work? I have no idea, but there is certainly something to Charlie Manuel’s notion of hitting weather.
It’s been his favorite refrain since he arrived in Philly, and I noticed this year that other analysts really picked up on a similar sentiment. Everyone wants to explain why scoring is down, and while obvious fingers point to less PEDs and better pitching, a couple of guys wanted to talk about the uncommonly bad weather we’ve had this year. Bad for hitting, that is. It started from the jump. I remember the first homestand the Phils hit several balls that would have left Citizen’s Bank Park this weekend. It was a league-wide epidemic of rainouts and chilly temps. Have we turned the corner? A lot of runs hit the board over the holiday weekend. If it keeps up it could be enough to at least level off the decline and get back to last year’s numbers.
It isn’t just the hitters, either. It’s brutal out there on the mound. In the middle of Roy’s start yesterday he had sweat through his entire uniform and did a full wardrobe change in the 5th inning. That’s a) kind of gross, but also b) a good indication of how difficult it is to stay hydrated and maintain your endurance level when the temperature jumps up near triple digits. Not only does it possibly impact the start yesterday, but you have to look at his next start as well. Will they hold him back to get that extra day of rest instead of using the off-day to skip a spot? I’m guessing they will. Luckily yesterday the Phillies’ bats t00k advantage of the weather more than Roy was burdened. Hopefully that continues to be the case.
One Man Vs. The Climate: Day 7.
I lost again last night, leveling my record off at 3-3. The Mets. When the Mets are scoring in bunches you’ve got problems, and yesterday a good 2/3 of all games went over. We’re going to have to start getting real careful with this. Only premium pitchers and incompetent offenses. Luck will play no part in this.
Today’s Selection: Chicago and Boston Under 9.5
Quiz of the Day: Name a Baseball Player Who___. Category: Not as Fun as I thought. My Score: 31/31
Two total guesses there, maybe three…