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The Vinny (and Howie) Show: Phillies 3, Padres 0

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Still missing Ken Giles?

Hunter Martin/Getty Images

We've been saying--and we haven't been the only ones--that this Phillies season would be a lot more fun than the last. They might not end up winning more games, but the road to 90+ losses will at least be watchable. If you were working today and couldn't watch the Phillies and Vince Velasquez make the Padres look like fools, well, I feel sorry for you. Gone are the days where missing a Phillies game comes at no cost.

Things happened in today's game aside from Vince Velasquez striking out 16 batters in a complete game shutout--Ryan Howard hit a dinger off a lefty, for example--but this is not the place to concern ourselves with them. In fact, this isn't even the place to concern ourselves with words of my own. I have none.

So here is the end of his performance in the form of moving pictures...

And in lieu of my own commentary and in light of MLB's war on unsanctioned GIFs, I'll defer to Twitter.

The early parts of the game were fun, but as the game progressed history kept being made. Let's look at some of the historical moments that left us in hysterics.

Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Scherzer, Kershaw, Sale, Archer, Kluber, Kerry Wood, Jose Fernandez, Vida Blue, Dwight Gooden, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens. That's the company Vinny had today. Bad or even mediocre pitchers don't do things like this. The only merely above-average pitcher mentioned was Carlos Carrasco.

Less than a month ago, Velasquez was in a battle with Adam Morgan for a spot in the Phillies rotation. I thought that competition seemed foolish at the time, but it looks like a downright joke now. Velasquez now leads major league baseball with 25 strikeouts, four more than Noah Syndergaard's 21. Syndergaard has deservedly received much attention for his early season dominance and a 95 mph slider certainly packs a lot of flash.

But, as we saw today, Velasquez is as flashy as they come. He was hitting 97 mph with his fastball not only in the first inning but on his 110th pitch of the game. We remain hopeful (and optimistic) about his long-term playing career, but we don’t yet know exactly how it will turn out.

With a game score of 97, Velasquez's performance falls just shy of Halladay's perfect game and Hamels' no-hitter (both 98s). The Phillies might not be great again, but they're at least exciting again. That's all we can really ask for and we have Vince Velasquez to thank.