The 2011 Phillies season has been noteworthy for many reasons. June alone saw pitcher Cliff Lee put up historic numbers in his five starts, but a make-up game leading to four Phillies wins in under 48 hours during that stretch really caught my attention. The team is in the midst of another scheduling oddity as they make their third of four straight one o’clock starts today at 1:07PM.
Day games are by no means uncommon, and the Phillies normally have a handful of “business person’s specials” to go along with their typical Sunday one o’clock starts at home. Combining those with similar schedules across the rest of the league, and the Phillies play a fair number of day games. Unless they’re playing a series at Chicago’s Wrigley Field though, you normally don’t see four in a row.
Thursday’s early start killed me a little for a number of reasons as Cole Hamels’ fourth inning exit, being at work and my ongoing frustration with iOS technology kept me from seeing or hearing anything but infrequent ESPN GameCast updates. Yesterday’s game took me a bit by surprise as even back to back day games aren’t common for the Phillies. The game was part of Canada Day celebrations up North as the team opened a series with the Toronto Blue Jays, but the same vexations were in place for someone with a 9-to-5 here in the States.
It’s only fair that these games are actually played in Toronto after last year’s “away series at home,” but I still don’t understand why Saturday’s game is starting at 1:07PM. The game is not nationally televised, but it does mark Roy Halladay’s return to Toronto after being traded at the end of 2009. Halladay’s start is the first of a Phillies one-two midday punch in the Great White North as Cliff Lee looks to extend his winning, shutout, and scoreless innings streaks tomorrow at 1:07. This along with the team’s 19-7 record in afternoon games this season should add to a great holiday weekend.
Happy Fourth of July, MLD readers!