Well, that’s that. Chase Utley came around in his Dodgers uniform, waved at everybody, got a standing ovation, got another standing ovation, basically had to force people to stop giving him standing ovations, abused Phillies pitching, gave idiots something to complain about for a news cycle, and hit the road. Now, the Cardinals are here.
St. Louis enters Philadelphia city limits having won their last four contests, taking two from the Cubs and two from the Astros over the last week. Prior to that, however, they’d dropped seven of their previous eleven. August had not been kind to them. The poor, sweet Cardinals who everyone loved had such a tough schedule leading up to the All-Star break, experts said, and are apparently looking forward to beating teams like the Phillies on their new, cushy second half schedule as they attempt desperately to win a wild-card spot, knowing full well they’re not good enough to win their division.
Outfielder Stephen Piscotty issued what we can only assume is a team-wide surrender to the Cubs:
"We kind of know what our role is here going forward," outfielder Stephen Piscotty said after a recent game. "We’re fighting for the wild-card spot."
Jedd Gyorko: Gyorko’s only has five hits in the past week, but three of them are home runs. Now that he’s not facing the Padres, he’s settled down a bit, thank the gods.
Brandon Moss: Matching Gyorko’s output over the last seven days, Moss adds even more annoying benefits for the Cardinals, with seven hits instead of five (three of which were home runs), the same number of RBI as Gyorko (six), a few more strikeouts and a few fewer walks. But he does have a stolen base. Moss is all over the place.
Stephen Piscotty: When he hasn’t been waving the team’s white flag, Piscotty has been hitting as well. Here he is clearly having a severe mental breakdown on second base.
Thought Stephen Piscotty's emotional outbust last night was unusual? It wasn't. At least against the Cubs, anyway. pic.twitter.com/DHv6UedZj9— viva el birdos (@vivaelbirdos) August 15, 2016
Ryan Howard: Maybe you haven’t heard?
Ryan Howard's last 90 PA:— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 19, 2016
Maikel Franco: While Franco still isn’t getting those BA numbers up, if that even matters to you, he did get a hold of one last night, and also hit a double. It’s just nice to see him do well.
Cesar Hernandez: What are you still doing on this list, Cesar. I’ve told you, this makes me uncomfortable.
Adam Wainwright vs. Adam Morgan, 7:05 p.m.
Philly is getting a pair of Adam-bombs dropped on it tonight, baby! Only instead of massive destruction and generations of toxic fallout, we’ll probably just have to watch one good pitcher eat through the Phillies lineup the other pitcher give up six runs in three innings.
Luke Weaver vs. Jeremy Hellickson, 7:05 p.m.
Having replaced Michael Wacha in the Cardinals rotation and presumably also stolen his identity, Weaver made his first big league start in his last appearance, and everyone started fanning themselves because he lasted four entire innings at Wrigley Field and made some "adjustments" on the fly to circumvent a few miscues. Boring.
Give me a Jeremy Hellickson start instead; and I mean one that doesn’t include him leaving early with a potential injury, like last time. He’s fine, we think, and it’s likely that, if he is fine, which he is, then he will continue being the Phillies most effective starter. In six starts since the season’s "midpoint," he’s got a 2.89 ERA and 5.20 SO/W.
Mike Leake vs. Vince Velasquez, 1:35 p.m.
Leake’s been getting tossed around by NL Central foes in his last three starts, with the Reds lighting him the hell up on August 4, working around his six-inning, three-run appearance on August 9, and then finally breaking through against the, Cubs despite a similar outing against that St. Louis managed to convert into a win (The main difference was that he only walked one Cubs hitter, as oppose to four Reds, and cruised by on an efficient 77 pitches vs. Chicago).
Velasquez only has three or more four starts this year, so it’s becoming curious if he’s got another 16-SO performance in him. Have we not all just been waiting for that to happen again? Is that not a... are we not doing that? Anyways, his last start was about what you’d expect, as he torched the Dodgers with ten strikeouts and still lost.
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