You know, if the Phillies did what they have been doing recently over the course of an entire season, that would be pretty good stuff. Playoff level stuff, perhaps. Instead, said stuff has been stressful for both the short-term--OMG WHAT ABOUT THAT DRAFT PICK!!! GOTTA KEEP IT UNDER LOCK AND KEY--and less short-term--Amaro probably thinks he's watching the next great Phillies team--interests of the team. All wins increase the stress of the situation to some degree, but this win was perhaps the least stress-inducing.
Young dude Maikel Franco, went 2 for 4 tonight with a double and a run scored. He started off the scoring, like any hip, trend-setting youngster, on an Utley single after he got on with a double. Standing on the shoulders of giants, that.
Aside from that, both teams kind of just did their respective things. David Buchanan had some innings in which he effortlessly got Pirates out and others in which BABIP, cruel mistress that she is, dictated that runs must score. Such an occurrence, well, occurred in the 3rd inning, when the Pirates, after walks from both Starling Marte and Neil Walker, scored on a Russell Martin flyball to right that rendered Marlon Byrd helpless.
Down 3-2, the Phillies did not give up. Leading off the 5th inning Freddy Galvis
showed off his prodigious, 80-grade power lucked into a homerun to tie the game.
Still tied in the bottom of the 7th, the Phillies clearly sensed a real opportunity to fuck some shit up for yet another team that is actually good at baseball. After Freddy Galvis stole second with 2 outs, Young Dude Maikel Franco shot a ground ball past a diving Ike Davis to score the winning run.
Even Ryne Sandberg knew what to do to preserve this lead. He started out by bringing in Awkward Man of the Week Ken Giles to hold the Pirates in the 8th. In case you've missed the 154,724 blog posts on his merits as a pitcher in the past month, consider the following statistical tidbit:
LHB vs. Ken Giles's slider entering tonight: .120/.154/.120, 18 K in 27 PA ending with the slider— Paul Boyé (@paul_boye) September 10, 2014
Probably a good idea on Kenny's part to throw that pitch. Remember when we were all concerned that that pitch wouldn't be ready for Major League competition? I do. We were all stupid.
After a quiet bottom of the 8th for the Phillies, Sandberg went all predictable on us and brought in Papelbon to close out the game in the 9th.
If Papelbon saves tonight's game, he will tie Steve Bedrosian for 2nd in Phils history (103), behind Jose Mesa (112) http://t.co/frDw36Hwkg— tgp schmenkman (@tgpschmenk) September 10, 2014
And lo and behold, about 28 minutes after entering the game, Prankster Emeritus Jonathan Papelbon became the Runner-up to the Phillies all-time leader in saves. That would be pretty cool if, you know, saves were a meaningful barometer of pitcher quality. Regardless, the Phils closed it out and let all the young dudes shine.
Take it away Ian:
Fangraphs of youth: