When this began with new leadership installed, there was palpable positivity in the air. As usual, it had all worn away by about June, and when the Phillies entered September well out of any race, scoring an inhumanly low amount of runs, their successes limited to small, strange pockets like Freddy Galvis' power or Tommy Joseph's output, it was hard to find anything to cling to. Then the NFL season started, the weather changed into sort of a cold, wet spitting, and baseball was deemed all but unwatchable.
But yet, many of your favorite TGP personalities will be attending this final series, bidding farewell to Ryan Howard, hoping for a victory to somehow gum things up for the Mets, or generally carrying on in the same way that has drawn them annoyed glances from strangers all season long. Some of us will be loudly citing obscure statistics while others will be loudly decrying their findings. It'll be like Twitter, but in an open-air forum. You're going to love it. Which is obvious, given how appealing of a description I've written here. Thanks. Thank you.
Ryan Howard: You get down to that stadium and you gawk at Ryan Howard for the last time, you ungrateful swine.
Jay Bruce: Jay Bruce was terrible when he first came to the Mets, but now he's hitting well enough to spawn columns that start with intros like "Jay Bruce never lost faith in the process. He couldn't."
Curtis Granderson: Enough already, Curtis Granderson - I'd say baseball has had quite enough of your late inning clutch hits that have helped keep the Mets in the NL wild-card mess and your Robin Hood-like charity that has you in The Bronx on off days handing out food to families in need. What happened to the ball players who used their off days to drink absinthe and force street urchins to race each other. Grow up, Curtis.
T.J. Rivera: A siren from the undercity, Rivera climbed out of an open manhole and has seduced most of baseball Twitter into being in awe of his every stat and swing.
T.J. Rivera is hitting .373 (22-59) with three homers and 11 RBI— Michael Mayer (@themainemets) September 30, 2016
in 18 games this month, 6th best September average in NL.
T.J. Rivera is batting .429 over his last 15 games.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) September 28, 2016
Wow, that's a great late swing by T.J. Rivera to protect the runners. There is no stat for that.— (((Jesse Spector))) (@jessespector) September 22, 2016
Darin Ruf: Ruf is 4-for-9 this week with two homers. Let's just end this stupid season.
Robert Gsellman vs. Alec Asher, 7:05 p.m.
Bartolo Colon vs. Phil Klein, 1:05 p.m.
Noah Syndergaard vs. Jerad Eickhoff, 3:05 p.m.
Seven of the nine tortuous innings in which the Phillies were beaten 17-0 in their game against the Mets were pitched by Gsellman. That game should have excused the Phillies from the rest of their schedule. Now, they're at risk of being erased by almost 20 runs again, and Gsellman will stand out on the mound, shouting hateful things at the Phillies as they just try to figure out where to stand during an at-bat.
Yes, this series will see the second ever career Phillies start of one Phil Klein, who was last seen on September 28 giving up a hit, two walks, and two earned runs to the Braves in 1.1 innings. His ERA is 8.22. His counterpart on Saturday afternoon will be Colon, the most beloved pitcher in the entirety of the sport, leading his team into the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Klein has had his own recent successes. Or has at least imagined them.
Finally, the Fan Appreciation Day card is a furious blonde-locked young hurler nicknamed with the god of thunder, while the Phillies send out Jerad Eickhoff, who in his last start was only five innings and one Freddie Freeman away from a perfect game.
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