For Phelps, it's the chance to come back home to where he grew up and play in front of friends and family in St. Louis and pitch against the team he grew up rooting for in the Cardinals. Phelps told the media on Monday before the Yankees 6-4 win that he's extremely excited for the chance to play in front of people he grew up with.
“I am excited and my family is to see me out there,” Phelps said of his start at Busch Stadium, where he’ll leave 26 tickets for family and friends. “I was a die-hard Cardinal fan growing up. One of the best memories is, I was listening in 2005 when [Albert] Pujols hit that home run off [Brad] Lidge. I was listening in the car.’
Phelps mentioned that he used to attend Cardinals games at the old Busch Stadium five-six times a year while growing up, but ever since the new Busch Stadium was built in 2006, he's only been there twice; mostly due to his professional baseball career.
Phelps will be looking to carry over the good start he had for the Yankees back on Thursday night against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Despite taking the loss, Phelps threw seven innings and allowed two runs while striking out eight in a 3-2 loss to the White Sox, but kept the Yankees in the game the entire time. In his previous start against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Phelps threw five scoreless innings and struck out five and picked up his first win of the 2014 season.
Phelps is 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA and has 33 strikeouts in 34 innings. Before being inserted into the rotation, Phelps was pitching strongly out of the bullpen before injuries forced the Yankees to put Phelps in the rotation.
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