You look in the Phillies dugout during a congratulatory post-home run high five train and you ask yourself, “Who the hell are all these people?” Or maybe that’s what you say when you look up from the instant mashed potatoes at dinner at your kids and wonder where all the years have gone.
But, unlike your kids, strange baseball players might have talents that come in handy later. That’s where Nate Schierholtz and Josh Lindblom found themselves tonight. As the first low profile trade deadline acquisitions in years, they faced an oddly low amount of pressure, as people were more transfixed on what we had lost, rather than the something or others that we had gained.
Also, Dom Brown! With him in the lineup, both corner outfielders contributed heartily to what turned out to be mostly a win.
The middle outfielder struck out twice and was tagged out in a rundown.
Vance Worley allowed some runs early, which certainly turned the Nationals broadcast booth into a gigglefest, but fortunately, Dom Brown ruined Edwin Jackson at home plate with a laser to Erik Kratz to end the inning.
Some initial buzz came from having three recent IronPigs in the lineup, but that all flatlined when they went 1-for-11 with a walk. And by ‘they’ I mean ‘Erik Kratz.’
Mostly, it was the Jimmy Rollins multi-home run game that had people talking. He came close in the first, then nailed one to the right field porch in the third and again in the fifth. The second one was even more appealing because Nate Schierholtz hit another one seconds later.
Meanwhile, Vance dealt and dealt until dealing wasn’t cool anymore. Kevin Frandsen and Chase Utley subtracted from the effort with poorly timed miscues, but by the time Vance left in the seventh to make way for a Bastardo-Linblom-Horst cocktail in the eighth (who allowed no runs and one hit) and Jonathan Papelbon to close the door with jarringly uncharacteristic quiet grace in the ninth.
Schierholtz had a very un-Pence-like dive and catch to eliminate Bryce Harper, and Dom Brown tracked down a threatening deep fly ball in the ninth to keep the game pretty.
Now all we need is Cole Hamels to put the pressure of how perfect we expect him to be after his extension, with no exceptions, and pitch nine spectacular innings to seal the sweep.
When It All Went Right
You know, every time you get a new Major League-ready player, you think, “Hey, what if right now is the start of the most incredible portion of this guy’s career?!” I mean, not everyone thinks that. Some people just shout it suddenly on a quiet bus. Nate Schierholtz, the only Major League position player we got at the trade deadline, is probably making friends fast now–unlike someone who screams things on SEPTA buses at 12:30 at night–with solid defense, a great catch Hunter would not have had, and a lead-giving dinger mere seconds after Jimmy’s.
Most Attractive Play
Bryce Harper keeps trying to be a hero this series, but he just can’t seem to get it to work, whether it’s a run-saving catch that somehow turns into a backwards somersault or an RBI single that turns into Edwin Jackson getting straight iced at home plate by the unholy hose of Dom Brown.
…did I just say ‘unholy hose?’
What I meant to say was the Vance Worley, with the aid of a BABIP wizard who materialized in the first row behind home plate, threw seven strong innings, allowing zero earned runs over four swinging strikes. Yes, four.
DUDE STOP IT YOU ARE BREAKING MY HEART