As we get older, good days can be harder and harder to come by as the things that constitute a "good day" evolve. Waking up without too rough of a hangover or with your favorite character surviving an episode of Game of Thrones turns into waking up without a degenerative eye disease or surviving the most recent round of layoffs.
Forty seven-year-old Tommy Joseph knows all about bad days, as he suffered through plenty of them in the minor leagues. After three concussions and a wrist injury, Joseph faded out of prospect conversations because nobody expected him to make a deep enough recovery that he could make an impact with the big club, and because the Phillies acquired a bunch of new young talent in some more recent trades, and we all have the focus of a waddle of penguins chasing a butterfly when it comes to this kind of thing.
But Joseph worked his way back, and as a first base prospect producing at an impressive clip at triple A, found himself in an interesting position. The Ryan Howard/Darin Ruf first base platoon wasn't working for the Phillies, and sliding Joseph into that position just to see what he could do made too much sense. Before, the Phillies may have just sat there like Doran Martell and watched everything happen, claiming they had a plan, but this new front office prefers to take action, like Ellaria Sand, who stabbed Doran Martell to death.
So last night, with Joseph slotted into the clean-up spot because f*** it, he racked up his own personal highlight reel in only his third major league game. Not bad for a reformed catcher playing first to avoid further brain injuries.
We'll start in the bottom of the second, with Joseph down in the count 1-2 against Wei-Yin Chen.
"What's that?" Joseph asked Chen, leaning toward the mound. "You want the baseball to hit the foul pole? Okay, I guess. If that's what you want."
"2-0?" Joseph asked in the bottom of the sixth. "That doesn't seem nearly safe enough, let's scoot a single past Marcell Ozuna and increase the lead, why don't we."
"Hmm," Joseph continued to think out loud in the ninth, "Two runners on in a two-run game in the ninth doesn't seem ideal. Let's just end the game now with a diving stop at first base that no one else who has played first base for this team this year could have made."
Joseph captained last night's win, giving the Phillies a chance to win another series this afternoon, keeping the team 0.5 game within the Mets and Nationals in the NL East standings, and best of all, doing it in front of his elated, applauding family and friends who had traveled from Arizona to watch him play.
And it all culminated in a new greatest Andres Blanco moment.
"I'm Tommy Joseph! I'm the hero of the game! Yeah!" https://t.co/XXf9ggU73a— Dan McQuade (@dhm) May 18, 2016
All in all, it was the kind of game that makes you excited to see what else this kid can do in his NEXT start!
Which will not be today.
Herrera not in the lineup today vs Marlins. And as expected, Howard starts at 1B. pic.twitter.com/iXsha5qzxH— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) May 18, 2016