We were all saddened by the departure of Pat Burrell from the Phillies following the 2008 season. It would be impossible to replace his right handed power bat in between Chase and Ryan (Jayson Werth seems to be filling in better for the 2003-2006 Pat Burrell that got booed for striking out at a Ryan Howard-like rate while hitting home runs at a Josh Willingham pace in Bobby Abreu situations). And seriously, what 2010 Philadelphia Phillie do you see posing for a picture like the one above? You may call it meaningless, but in 2008, when Burrell started the season creeping around a .350 batting average the way he used to creep around the Delaware Avenue night clubs and hitting the ball like never before, it coincided with this very picture being printed on T-shirts at Phillies Spring Training with the caption “Man or Machine?”
Anyway, you may be thinking to yourself “Yes, I did love Pat Burrell as a Phillie, as much for his skill as for the unintentional comedy of watching him do things like run and strike out in a genuflect pose, but why discuss it now?”
Well, Pat is still doing his damnedest to win the NL East for the Phillies, even though he makes his home out in hippieland San Francisco. Last night in a game tied 2-2 in the top of the 11th inning, Burrell came up with the bases loaded following three walks by Braves pitcher Peter Moylan, and hit himself a sacrifice fly to knock in the go-ahead run on one knee. Truly a classic Burrell moment, and combined with a patented Mets meltdown at Citizens Bank Park, the Phils deficit in the NL East is down to how many games?
That’s right, Pat. 1 game.
Now if Cole can just come through today in a HUGE game against Johan Santana, all will feel right again in the NL East.