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Philly 2Nite


                  Cheers from the City of Brotherly Love, where the sports fans are obnoxious (and darn proud of it) and the Marlins hold an onion paper-thin lead over the Phillies in the division standings as they prepare to face each other for the first time this season.

         Fans                    Philly hasn't been a friendly place to the Marlins over the years. They're a miserable 41-74 here all-time and 10-19 at Citizens Bank Park, which opened in 2004. Everyone is expecting a slugfest considering the Phils and Marlins are 1-2 in the majors in home runs.

   The weather this morning is spectacular, so no hint of the "R" word.


                  THE "U" FACTOR

                  A lot of the attention this series will be on the two second basemen, Dan Uggla and Chase Utley. Utley leads the majors with 16 home runs. Uggla is tied for second with 15.

       Upshaw_2                         But Utley is also closing in on an obscure record: most career home runs by a player whose last name begins with the letter "U." That record is held by Willie Upshaw, the old Toronto Blue Jay who swatted 123 over a career that lasted from 1978-88.

                 At the moment, Utley is sitting on 114. Dan Uggla has 74, but if he keeps ringing up 12 dingers a month the rest of the season, as he has so far in May, he'll be right there with Upshaw: 122 home runs by my projection.

          Meanwhile, Del Unser's record for most career hits by a player with a "U" last name looks like it'll survive awhile longer. Unser, a master pinch-hitter in his time (just ask Dan Quisenberry), finished with 1,344 hits. Utley (with 705), still has a ways to go, as does Uggla (386).