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Always Use Protection (On Your Draft Picks): Mets 4, Phillies 1

The Phillies revisit adolescence with dropped balls and using protection. While those things tend to contribute to #Winning in human development, they contribute to #Losing in baseball.

Ball, meet face
Ball, meet face
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to move out of their division's basement, the Phillies took the field against the Mets with astonishing vim and vigor. Once the game started, however, they regressed to their typical 2014 malaise, falling spell to the flowing locks of none other than Mets ace Locks deGrom.

Early on, both offenses were flummoxed by the dastardly pitching styles of David Buchanan and Jacob deGrom. In fact, through 4 innings, the Phillies were no-hit by Locks deGrom.

The battle of offensive futility finally broke in the fourth when David Wright, who reached on an infield single and advanced on a Lucas Duda groundout, scored on a two out double from Travis D'arnaud.

The Phillies came out enraged that the Mets would so much as dare to score off of future ace David Buchanan. Marlon Byrd led off with a walk, before Franchise Cornerstone Grady Sizemore emerged from the dugout to slap a single to right. The Phillies did Phillies things after that as Ruiz and Asche struck out followed by a ground out from our future ace, David Buchanan. So it goes.

In the 7th, the Phillies finally took offense to Locks deGrom. Byrd singled to lead off, Then Franchise Cornerstone Grady Sizemore hit a routine grounder to Lucas Duda that Duda, overwhelmed by the responsibility of handling a hit off the bat of greatness, drew Wilmer Flores off the bag at 2nd. Safe all around. Then Phillies things ensued, when Carlos Ruiz popped up a bunt attempt. But, don't be so fast to write off the Phillies, dear reader. Cody Asche lined a single over the arm of shortstop Wilmer Flores to score Byrd. Then Dom Brown, pinch hitting for David Buchanan, who had only thrown 64 pitches to that point, ended the inning with a very Dom Brown double play. So much for that.

The Phillies decided to heed Sandberg's dictates and play the game the right way in the bottom of the inning. Not inclined to let down ace Locks deGrom, the Mets threatened in the 7th. Actually, whether it was the Mets or Jake Diekman who threatened is a matter of taste. The Mets were able to load the bases off of two walks and a HBP. Should we award that alleged passivity with an active verb tense? That's for you to answer on your own. I answer, "yes." As I was saying, the Mets threatened, loading the bases with two outs in the 7th. Ryne Sandberg opted to bring in RHP Justin DeFratus to face a right Juan Legares. He hit a harmless shallow fly ball to Franchise Cornerstone Grady Sizemore, who, beneficently dropped it to allow two runs to score. You see, Sizemore concerns himself with the long-term health of the franchise and, seeing a protected draft pick slipping out of reach, figured a loss was better than a win. To add insult to injury, Eric Campbell (who?) stole home after Ruiz failed to catch Johnny Legs stealing second. The Phillies chose the last option. Two years ago, I would have been slinging profanities at my television throughout this inning. This year, I just shrug and chuckle. Sometimes you eat the bear; sometimes the bear eats you; the remaining times, you eat yourself.

With that, the final two innings transpired without note before the Phillies retreated to the clubhouse, protecting their 2015 draft pick from the covetous eyes of the New York Mets.

Fangraph of safe sex:

Source: FanGraphs