I'm getting too old for this crap. but man, am I PUUUMPED!! I'll be rational in the morning but right now, trade em all RAJ! all the prospects. Trade em. Get me a 3B and a few bullpen arms and lets win this darn thing.
On the Friday after the All Star break, the Phillies sat at 37-51. a stunning 14 games below .500, they had lost an incredible 11 out of 12 games. they were 12 games off the wild card, They hadn't won a game all season when trailing after 7 innings, and the calls of SELL SELL SELL rang through the Delaware Valley. After all, to win 90 games, (the number most people feel will clinch a wild card slot) they would need to play .700 ball over their remaining 74 games.
Then something happened. with two weeks until the deadline, They started winning games.
After tonight, in one of the most stunning, and improbable come from behind victories I've personally witnessed (the third in a row) they suddenly find themselves 9 games back. but more importantly, they're breathing down the necks of the competition, and have played .700 ball.
Guess what folks, they're on pace, and there are signals coming from Citizens Bank Park executive suites from an unnamed inside source that Ruben may or may not possibly be contemplating thinking about maybe trying to make a move to win this thing.
Recap itself after the Jump
With over 20 scouts in attendance, two things were fairly certain tonight. The reports of Zack Grienkes demise are greatly exaggerated, and Cliff Lee, truest of true phillies, and smarter than any of us, knowing that a win might make Ruben buy, and not wanting him to make the mistake of pitching so good that The Rangers scouts in attendance might actually offer Jurikson Profar, blatantly tanked the game. He did so by pitching like Cliff lee for 5 innings, and then giving up
exactly eleventy billion somewhere between 4 and 5 home runs, depending on whether you count Zack Grienke's monster shot as two.
He also pulled the greatest Buttermaker in the history of time, with this cool pick off at 3B.
But the contrast between Lee and Grienke tonight was striking. While Lee relied on a few clutch plays and seemed to be in trouble every inning (HR's not withstanding) a sort of rhythmic pattern of..flare single to right after another, double play occasional K, Grienke was, by contrast a smooth ground ball inducing, looping curveball K'ing soft and cool come backer to the mound kind of dude. You got the sense that he was making a statement, and at the same time was oblivious to anyone and everyone. And he certainly helped his own cause with a mammoth HR to left field that made me remember the story WHeels always tells when we face him about almost drafting him as a 3B instead of Hamels.
I was impressed. so much so that I'd be extremely fine if he ended up here next year. (DO IT RAJ. I DARE YOU.)
But the irony in tonights game is that as good as Grienke was, as lights out as he threw, he was pulled after 7 innings, having only thrown 87 magnificent pitches, with a 5 run lead, Because Cliff Lee gave up eleventy billion home runs, in the top of the eighth, (it should be noted that lost in the rest of the game was another excellent putting by Schwimmer) and the Brewers want to trade him, and in reality for Milwaukee, this was a meaningless game, in a dead end season.
But Erik Kratz don't know Kratz about giving up nothing. We take you to the bottom of the eight, Phils down 6-1, season over.
Jose Veras gave up a single to Wiggy, Nix comes out to PH, the Brewers pull the ol double switcharoo, and up comes Kratz and with one swing of the bat, BOOM. Destiny changes. On a dime.
I said to myself, hm... Then Rollins flied out. two down. I remembered Liz started the recap early last night and we rallied.
So I started the recap. and so did the rally.
3 walks in a row (sound familiar), another excellent pinch run of Howard by Charlie, and a Chooch double ties it.
One batter later, the BABIP fairy finally flew for Hunter on one of the most disgustingly lumberjack'd Pence swings in recent memory with abloom over the head of Rickie Weeks. and its 7-6 Phils.
12 batters. 6 runs. 3 with nobody on and 2 outs. 1 inning.
Paps lit em up, (the pic above is from tonight, BTW..) and just like that, I said goodbye to the idea of restocking the system. Why? Cause we're playing 700 ball. and we've done it before, and we can do it again, and dammit , I'd rather go down with a sinking ship plugging my fingers in the holes in the hull than to get on a liferaft with the sissies.
We don't give up.
We're not the Brewers.
Holy crap I think I got the fan graph thingy to work.
Miracles can happen.