No, really. This guy. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
It was 1990s Retro Night at Citizen Bank Park tonight, meaning, of course, that there were moving tributes featuring Quentin Tarantino movies, AOL CDs, 14.4 baud modems, uber entreprenuer Marc Andreessen (who conquered tech world dinosaurs Steve Jobs and Bill Gates), and Napster. I spent all night looking up 1990's trivia on AltaVista using my Packard Bell 486 with 4 MB of RAM and downloading porn from USENET. All of this was helped along by the mushrooms that I ate. And those, in turn, fueled the bad trip that I had where all I could see was a giant Anthony Kiedis wearing only a tube sock on his bits as, right next to him, a similarly-clad Flea, rendered as a stylized character as though on Ren and Stimpy, slapped his...bass.
The mushrooms did bring back memories of the 90's, including the three girlfriends from college who, I learned later, jumped the fence. I hear that a fourth has attained roughly the size (and disposition) of a rabid Clydesdale. Fortunately, I married none of them, having escaped to law school where I spent three joyous years of the 1990s trying vainly to drink myself to death so I could end the annoying drone of all but perhaps the 2 percent of my classmates and professors who did not suffer from some sort of obvious and debilitating mental illness.
Looking for some happy memory of the 1990s, I found that my Sega Genesis is broken, and my copies of Tecmo Super Bowl, NHL 1994, and RBI Baseball 1993 will never be played again.
Of course, my hair is gone, and all that beer I swilled (and to think $4.00 cases of Piels seemed like such a bargain!) is stuck on my gut. In short, I look about as bad as the 1993 Phillies do today.
All of this brings me to the Reds/Phillies game tonight. Surely, you are asking, at some point in this recap, you will stop whining and write about baseball? Well, it was 1990s Retro Night, and roughly 45% of the 1990s was spent gazing at navels and whining. You never heard of Nirvana? Well, maybe you were one of the happy ones who knew what you wanted, what you really, really wanted when you saw the Sign, knowing that God was one of us.
Oh yeah, baseball. The Phillies jumped (with both feet) on the 1990s bandwagon tonight, reimagining, if you will, what it was like in 1996.
Bronson Arroyo pitched for the Reds, facing off against the bone chip'd Vance Worley for the Phailz. Bronson Arroyo is cooked, you say? Well, he's had a decent year somehow, and tonight he nearly pitched a perfect game. Not in a thrilling way, making it 8 2/3 innings or anything, but it took until Domonic Brown's solo blast in the fifth for any Phillie to reach base. Arroyo ended up with a line of 8 IP, 3 H, 2R, 0 BB, with 4 K.
Arroyo somehow suffocated the Phillies, despite not having overpowering stuff. He struck out only 4, but kept the Phillies completely under control except for a brief gasp of life in the 8th, when Brown led off with a double, followed by a Scott Rolen gack at third on a grounder by Placido Polanco. Brown was unable to advance on the play, and the next batter, Brian Schneider, duly grounded into a nifty 6-4-3 double play (Zack Cozart went past second, flipped to Brandon Phillips, who bare-handed it and threw out the dial-up slow Schneider).
Meanwhile, Worley did pretty well for the Phillies, going 6 innings, giving up 2 runs, scattering 8 hits, striking out 3 and walking 2. Jay Bruce had one of those 8 hits, a "triple" off Worley in the fourth, which resulted from a fly ball that Domonic Brown harpered in the lights in deep right. Brown made up for it when he caught a fly for an out and then gunned Bruce down at the plate. In cold blood. Dead. As. A. Doornail.
Worley was touched for two runs in the fifth on a walk, a sacrifice and three consecutive two-out singles (soft fly, grounder, line drive). C'est la 2012 Phillies.
The final run of the day came off an absolute blast by Jay Bruce in the eight inning during the second inning of work by the Swedish Meatball, Josh Lindblom (h/t bandwagonesque). Aroldis Chapman came in to slam the door closed in the ninth after the Phillies showed some signs of life with a late rally to close it to 3 - 2, and that was all she wrote.
The only Phillie with a bat tonight was Domonic Brown who hit a double to go along with his first homer of the season. Brown also brought his arm today, and his glove. While there was the "lost in the lights" play, he also made a nifty diving catch, too. ALL YOUR TOOLS ARE BELONG TO DOM! He was definitely a bright spot tonight. I'm liking this kid a bunch.
Tomorrow, the Phillies send out Cole Hamels against Johnny Cueto. The Phillies will try to salvage a split of this four game series. At least the Mets lost, too, and the Marlins lost one too, maybe two. Lookit.
Fangraph of Cy Arroyo, FFS: