Welcome to PhilsWeek! – a fun* look back at the week that was and all the exciting happenings surrounding everyone’s favorite major league baseball team: The Philadelphia Phillies!
*Note: Amount of fun experienced may vary.
Super big Phillies issue of the week: The offense re-emerges…for now
Things were getting ugly. The Phillies went 23 innings without scoring a run – including consecutive shutouts on Wednesday and Friday – and were becoming downright painful to watch.
As I watched Friday’s game with my parents, my mother expressed confusion in regards to the ineptitude. My father was not surprised at all, and summed up the team’s scoring problems thusly: “They’re a lousy team.”
Even as the events at the ballpark threatened to send me into a deep depression, I somehow maintained a slight bit of hope regarding the fate of the Phillies. My eternally optimistic nature was able to spot some signs that a turnaround might be coming soon. Even though they couldn’t seem to buy a run on Friday, the Phillies were getting runners on base and they had several decent scoring opportunities.
Was my optimism justified? Two games later, the offense appears to be healthy again. They followed up a 12-run outburst on Saturday with an eight-run showing on Sunday. I’m mildly surprised that Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee‘s heads didn’t explode due to actually receiving some run support. When was the last time either of them got to pitch with a comfortable lead?
Of course, knowing the Phillies, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they resume their floundering ways on offense this week. This wasn’t the first extended slump the team experienced this season, and chances are, it won’t be the last.
Pennant year song of the week
Winning the National League pennant isn’t something the Phillies do all that often; it’s only happened seven times in team history. Each week, I’ll take a song from one of those years that somehow ties into the events of the past week.
Overkill – Men at Work, 1983
When the Phillies scored 12 runs on Saturday, I was a bit worried. Sure, it was nice to see that much offense, but I’d prefer that they spread it out over a few days. You don’t get extra wins when you outscore the opponent by eleven. It seemed like a bit of an overkill.
Right player, wrong uniform
There are some players who played their entire careers with a single team, and it’s impossible to imagine them in a different uniform: Mike Schmidt with the Phillies,Cal Ripken with the Orioles, and Derek Jeter with the Yankees are prime examples. On the other hand, there are some players who you might associate with a certain team…but they also had a forgettable stint (or two) with another team. You might not remember their time with those other teams, but the internet never forgets!
Richie Ashburn is one of the most beloved figures in Phillies history. Between his Hall of Fame playing career and his legendary stint as a broadcaster, it’s almost impossible to find a Phillies fan who doesn’t love “Whitey.”
Mets fans may not feel as fondly about Ashburn. While he wasn’t awful in his one season playing there, the rest of the team certainly was. Ashburn was the lone All-Star representative for the 1962 Mets who went 40-120.
Faced with the prospect of continuing on for an awful team, Ashburn (wisely) decided retirement was the better option. Soon enough, he found his way to the Phillies’ broadcast booth.
The Week Ahead
The Phillies will play two teams whom they’ve had some success against this year. First, they’ll travel to Miami to face the Marlins. (The Phillies swept them in their earlier meeting) Next, the Dodgers will come to town. (The Phillies won three out of four games in LA) Can they repeat that success this week?
Inane Rap Lyric of the Week
“I had to get your name, number, information, because certain body parts had inflammation.” – Young MC, Fuel to the Fire
With word play like this, I find it hard to believe that this guy was a one-hit wonder.
See you next week for another installment of PhilsWeek! Be sure to follow me (@MikeLacy_215) and That Ball’s Outta Here (@FS_TBOH) on the Twitter!