Today is Barry Bonds’ 43rd birthday and the greatest gift he could give baseball fans is to hit three home runs tonight and get the Chase for Hank behind him.
Not gonna happen.
I’m not breaking any new ground here, obviously, and as predictions go, this one isn’t exactly going out on the limb. Bonds could tie it, because he’s hit two homers in a game twice this season and 71 times in his career, one more than the 72 Babe Ruth had. I’m not betting on it, though, because Bonds seems to have a tougher time homering at the Big Phone than in years past. He has only four there since May 8, and his last one was June 29.
In fact, what’ really interesting about this whole thing is the thought of the team’s next trip to Los Angeles and San Diego, historically two places that are especially anti-Bonds. If Bonds is sitting at 755, what do the Giants do? They can’t sit him for all seven games, because that gets into the integrity of the pennant race. I’m guessing the Diamondbacks and Rockies would not be happy with Bonds sitting out against the two teams atop the NL West.
That said, neither Bonds nor the Giants want the record to occur on the road. I suppose Bonds could just try to hit singles. But at this point, I’d argue he’s not good enough anymore to assume he’ll homer in any game at home. Could be an interesting thing to watch.
Anyway, Atlanta’s Tim Hudson goes after him tonight. Stay tuned.