This time of year, when your favorite baseball team is set to miss the post-season for the 5th consecutive year, you try to wish for only the best for your top prospects, whether they're a September call-up, in the MiLB post-season, or getting ready for fall action.
So it was a slight concern Friday night when this little bombshell was dropped on us:
J.P. Crawford had arthroscopic surgery Wednesday on left knee to remove loose body. Will rest 4 weeks. Expected to be ready by spring.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) September 16, 2016
Yeah, that's worthy of a collective sigh across the Delaware Valley and beyond. The hope here is that it's nothing too major and that spring training goes off without a hitch for the Phillies' shortstop of the future. It wasn't the most pleasant news to receive just moments after tuning into Friday night's mid-September affair between two teams barreling towards a whole lot of "meh" over the next few weeks, barring an incredibly miraculous late-season surge from the Fish.
Hey, at least the Phillies didn't trade for Andrew Cashner, amirite?! No, really, sorry Marlins fans, that really does stink. Even you, Obnoxious Orange Jersey Marlins Guy. Despite the long wait, there would be a victorious payoff for the Phillies, as they managed a 4-3 victory Friday night that was seen by a small pocket of diehards who wanted some baseball to go along with their countdown to midnight.
If it's a Friday night, that means it's an Adam Morgan start, because due to absolutely no anecdotal evidence at all, I feel almost every single one of Morgan's outings this year seem to fall on a weekend. And hey, Adam did enough to keep the runs off the board, though he only lasted 4 2/3 innings.
Both of those unearned runs came in the 5th inning, one set up by a controversial play at first base that saw Ryan Howard dive towards the bag, nearly colliding with both Morgan and Dee Gordon, who was trying to beat out a grounder. The "out" call on the field was reversed as Morgan was charged with defensive obstruction, a call that was questionable at best. Gordon scored on a double off the bat of Martin Prado, followed later in the inning by an RBI single from J.T. Realmuto.
But, ah, there would be a response from the offense in the home half of the 6th inning against Miami starter Tom Koehler, including a good old throwback mammoth homerun from Ryan Howard, his 22nd of the season. Yes, he posed at home plate like it was 2006, it landed near those lottery signs out in the bullpens, and he took a trot around the bases that said "Yes, I'm still here, folks." At this point, we are certainly counting down our remaining hours with Ryan, and really, every homer could be the last we see, so feel free to soak that in and enjoy it. And, oh yeah, shameless plug for our farewell to the Big Piece.
Odubel Herrera then got a pretty good swing off lefty (!) Mike Dunn, tying the game with his RBI double that brought in Cameron Rupp. Aaron Altherr then reached on a fielder's choice to bring Herrera home, giving the Phillies a 3-2 lead.
Edubray Ramos got the call in the 8th, and he just had to go and ensure that this game would be four hours. Derek Dietrich's line drive homer to right tied the game at three a piece and sent this one to extra innings.
Just how many extra innings, you may ask? How about four? Yeah, this one ended up being closer to five hours rather than the aforementioned four, and it would take until the 13th inning to finish off the night. Jimmy Paredes just wanted to go home, and with the bases loaded and one out in that 13th inning, Jimmy smacked a line drive to right field, over the reach of the five-man Joe Maddon-style infield to bring Peter Bourjos in for the win.
Yes, the Phillies are not going to be competing for a playoff spot in the final few weeks, but they're going to do their best to play spoiler. The Marlins' slim chances for October are slowly slipping away, and they don't like they're going to get any help in Philadelphia this weekend.