As far as important games in April go, the next 10 for the Phillies are about as big as they come. At 5-7 and already five games behind the Mets in the NL East, the Phillies can make a dent in the standings with the Nationals, Marlins and Rockies in town for the next week-and-a-half.
Oh, but if only the next 10 were it for the Phils. For the next three weeks, the Phillies will play 15 of their next 20 games at home with no days off. Of those 20 games, 18 are in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (last we checked, Pittsburgh is still on the other end of the state).
So obviously, this is a big stretch for the Phillies.
That season, Person lost his first three of his first six starts, went on the disabled list and picked up his first win on June 2 against the Expos. As some will recall, that was the game where Person blasted a pair of homers and drove in seven runs.
After pitching as well as any hurler in the National League in the final months of the 2001 season, the 2002 campaign was not one to remember for Person. Later that summer, the right-hander and manager Larry Bowa had a few “disagreements” before Person went on the disabled list following a two-inning blowup in a loss at Wrigley Field in late July.
Following that game, Person was done as a Phillie.
Since then, the affable pitcher from St. Louis battled injuries and bounced from the Red Sox and White Sox for a few years before winding up in the Atlantic League with the Bridgeport Bluefish last season.
Against the likes of Pete Rose Jr. and Ryan Minor, Person went 0-4 with a 6.37 ERA in 14 games.
As a side note, Cory Lidle’s brother Kevin was a catcher for the Bluefish.Here’s another fun fact: Heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Nationals, David Bell had gone 37 consecutive plate appearances without striking out. Of all the Phillies to come to bat this season, only Bell and pitcher Ryan Madson (six plate appearances) are the only players not to strike out.