Morning Wood: Three
I’m a man of my word. You asked, I Wooded.
Good, now that that’s over– let’s get weird.
The Phillies are three goddamn games back of the #FifthandFinal Wild Card spot. Three.
I turned 29 on August 15. The Phillies finished that day with a record of a 54-63– 10 games behind the Pirates and Cardinals for the #FifthandFinal Wild Card spot. 10.
It wasn’t much better on September 1. The Phillies finished that day at 64-69– eight games back of the Cardinals for the #FifthandFinal Wild Card spot. Rookies were getting extended looks, pitchers were being pulled early, and we hated Jimmy Rollins. The End of Days was here, and it wasn't pretty.
Today, the 13th of September, 2012, the Phillies are three games back of the Cardinals for the #FifthandFinal Wild Card spot. They have won seven straight. Seven. The Cardinals and Dodgers have each lost three straight. The Pirates? Six. Only the surging Brewers have kept pace with the Phillies, winning three in a row and seven of their last 10. In fact, only the Brewers (20-7) and A’s (21-5) have better records than the Phillies (18-8) since August 15. That’s right, this heaping pile of slop, discarded to the bin of unwantedness, has the third best record in Major League baseball over the past month. Like my Wood (and yours?), they’re peaking at the perfect time, primed for an October climax… if they can get in.
That was a long way to go for a sex joke, so let’s move on.
Cliff Lee is back, pissing golden-hued streams of excellence not seen since August of 2011. He’s given up only five earned runs in his past five starts – #FifthandFinal – striking out 32 while allowing only three walks. Yum.
Somehow, Chase Utley has gone from smooth operator to lovable goof. He’s tripping over his feet at second base and Supermaned this ho slide at third base yesterday.
Jimmy Rollins, who Larry Bowa once said is a “Red Light player,” has his swag on high. He can fucking barrel roll his way down to first base for all I care (yeah, I’ve flipped and flopped). Watch as he blasts this ball yesterday, and surprisingly, T-Mac didn't ruin the call.
Ryan Howard is fat again, and that’s the best kind of Howard.
Kyle Kendrick. That’s all– Kyle Kendrick.
And in an odd occurrence of the Universe realigning itself, Phillippe Aumont has power-moved his way into the majors and now joins the guy he was traded for, Clifton, in leading the Phils back from the depths of nothingness. I can’t even find a goofy analogy to accurately sum that up.
As noted by AP sports writer Rob Maadi, the Phillies' odds to win the World Series have gone from non-existent to reasonable:
The teams in front of the Phillies:
The Pirates? Haha. They’re falling fast and – since they’ve been bad for so long I’ve kind of forgotten this – they’re from Pittsburgh. I love fucking (verb) Yinzers.
The Dodgers? Turmoil. LA Times writers are penning sarcastic pieces like this: [LA Times]
They are trailing 3-2. I can't believe it; our guys looked so good playing without a ball.
STOP THE PRESSES! We have Kemp leading off the ninth followed by the top two players acquired in trades. Your hometown newspaper applauds such promise.
Kemp grounds out to first.
No worries, we have Gonzalez, and who else would you want in a situation like this? OK, so maybe not Gonzalez because he takes a called third strike for the second straight night in the ninth.
But it's not his fault the umps have it in for him as he tells everyone later. And as his hometown newspaper now we'll overlook the crybaby antics.
Ramirez grounds out to end the game, but the important thing here is our team gave it their best.
The Cardinals? Collapsing. And remember: they’re without Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter, Lance Berkman (surgery), and Tony La Russa this year.
And even the Nationals. They continue to be a Mickey Mouse club, as it’s now revealed that Stephen Strasburg will be available until the end of the season… to pinch hit.
The Phillies? They’re peaking at just the right time… and it’s making all of us hard. #FifthandFinal