The Phillies won, guys! They really did!
Oh man, there was some fun stuff in tonight's game, which was a win, a win that I get to recap. Me! recapping a win!
Perish the thought.
But it's really happening now! I'm recapping this win by telling you about this game, which I will do immediately!
Biggest news: CHASE UTLEY HOME RUN. Watch it here, watch it forever. My favorite part of that video? The bullpen guys with the upper halves of their bodies poking over the outfield wall. I think BJ Rosenberg caught that ball, too! Good for him. He's terrible at throwing the ball, but that catch was awesome!
Then, Utley singled in the third inning and Ryan Howard scored him with a single. Utley scored from first on a Ryan Howard single. It happened! It's true! Watch it here!
True to form, that was the only scoring the Phillies would do tonight. But Cole Hamels handled it. He battled through 6 2/3 innings, evidenced by the amount of talking to himself Hamels was doing on the mound. He also violently yelled into his glove, which was scary but kind of awesome. I love Insane Cole Hamels. I love every kind of Cole Hamels, come to think of it.
Jonathan Papelbon is not growing on me. I do not like him. I think he's a loon. Those are things that will probably not change. But damn, is he a good pitcher. 20 saves, ERA at 1.31. He has allowed zero home runs this year. ZERO. Someone out there has to want him, right? Some team really needs him. That has to be true. For the love of God, he's never going to be more valuable, someone send Amaro a carrier pigeon or a giant stone disc or whatever he uses to communicate, and tell him that! Someone tell him!
I mean, I could talk about the bad things. The lack of scoring after the third inning. The error that tacked an unearned run onto the day's score. But I don't want to. I just recapped a million billion losses in a row, and so screw the bad things. Tonight, we dine on joy! (And my sanity, apparently.)
But before we depart, I'd like to request that we all stand and open our hymnals to page 851, "Ken Giles' Slider is a Thing of Beauty and Glory Forever, Amen".
Ken Giles will face Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez in the 8th inning of a one-run game. Popcorn? Get it.— Matt Gelb (@magelb) July 8, 2014
This is the first time Giles has pitched with a lead of three or fewer runs in 11 appearances this season. Biggest spot for him so far.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 8, 2014
Giles strikes out Carlos Gomez on four straight sliders in the 8th. Gomez loses his helmet swigning at one of them.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 8, 2014
Opponents are now 0 for 16 with 11 strikeouts against Ken Giles' slider.— Matt Gelb (@magelb) July 8, 2014
I could sing that hymn all day long. Yeah, Giles had some trouble, and he was lucky to get out of the inning unscathed, but that's not what this song is about. This is about how amazing his slider is! Get with the program!
Final thought: Is Andres Blanco, who before tonight hadn't started a game since 2011 (which is a long, long time ago), the Phillies new good luck charm? Yes or no. If yes, should they continue to play him, or never play him but make him travel everywhere with the team like the human version of pink fuzzy car dice? These are the important questions, people.
The Phillies won. I know it means nothing in the long run, and it doesn't mean anything has changed. But it's a tiny triumph. Just for tonight we get to celebrate the battle we won, even though we're going to lose the war.