Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, CAN Lose: Reds 11, Phillies 2

I did not see this on TV tonight. - Joe Robbins

The Phillies got their asses handed to them, so I switched to Friday Night Lights, season 1, episode 7. The Dillon Panthers came back from a 14-0 halftime deficit to win their homecoming game thanks to the excellent play of Tim Riggins, but the fallout from the game is that Smash starts using steroids.

Going into the game, the Phillies' offense was struggling massively (8 runs in 5 games) but they were sending John Lannan to the mound. Lannan had pitched very well in his first two outings, giving up only 4 runs in 13 innings.

One of these things stayed the same in this game, and one changed. Unfortunately for the Phillies, it was the offense that stayed the same and Lannan that changed. Lannan gave up 6 runs while getting only 5 outs. He was replaced by Raul Valdez, who gave up another 5 runs in 10 outs. The Phillies weren't hitting at all, getting their lone 2 runs on a Freddy Galvis home run (yup, Freddy Galvis).

So instead of watching much more than the first few innings of this shellacking, I turned on Friday Night Lights. My wife and I started watching it this past weekend, and we're hooked. We're on episode 7 of season 1, The Homecoming. I figured it would be more interesting to recap that with the rest of this post.

Jason Street is still in the rehab facility when the episode starts and is suspicious that Lyla Garrity and Tim Riggins are sleeping together behind his back. Nonetheless, he musters up the strength to appear at the team's homecoming game. Meanwhile, Smash Williams is feeling the pressure of success, as a national high school football talent evaluator shows up for the big game. Smash chokes, but Tim steps up and has the game of his life. The team wins, but Smash is crushed by his failure. The talent evaluator tells him he needs to bulk up and improve his conditioning. Smash's response? He starts taking steroids.

Off the football field, Tyra Collette plans a huge anti-homecoming homecoming party, which turns out to be a stunning success. At the party, Matt Saracen finally gets up the courage to ask the coach's daughter out on a date, but we have to wait until the next episode to get an answer.

Overall, this was a good episode, though not as strong as the ones that preceded it. The Lyla, Tim, Jason storyline is not very interesting, as it's been done to death in many different shows and movies. Plus, the scene at the end of the last episode where Jason saw Lyla and Tim in a way-too-long-to-be-just-friends hug was a bit too convenient. I'm also not thrilled to have to suffer through a long exploration of steroid use. I feel like maybe it would have been interesting in 2006, but now in 2013, I'm kind of over it.

But, I liked seeing Tim get clean (at least for this episode) and perform in the actual game. I also enjoyed the show's exploration of the letdown these high school stars experience (or anticipate experiencing) once their football greatness ends. And Tyra seems to be an interesting character that might be more fun to follow through the series than it seemed when the series started. My favorites so far though are Matt and Julie Taylor, the coach's daughter. Matt doesn't fit the mold of a star jock, and Julie seems to hate football all together. I like that the show is giving them room to relate to one another as pseudo-outsiders.

When the show was over, I turned back to the Phillies game just in time to see Ryan Howard get an infield single in the top of the 9th and then Michael Young hit into a double play to end the game. Fitting.

Fun stuff to be swept by the Reds after scoring just 6 runs against the AAA Marlins.

Fangraph of I started this damn blog so I will ban you quicker than Ben Revere grounds out if you put any series spoilers in the comment section of this post:

Source: FanGraphs

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