Afterberth: R-Phils Enter, Dominate Playoffs


One rule about baseball is that some teams make the playoffs, and others don’t.  It’s looking an awful lot like the Philadelphia Phillies will not be a 2012 playoff team.  Darn.

But what a lot of people forget or those who are more ancillary fans of the game don’t care about is that there are many, many other, lesser known, not as good teams branching out from all the professional ones, and each of these Minor League affiliates have playoffs of their own!  My god!  It’s as though baseball is a complex network of endless versions of itself!

So how many of the Phillies’ spawned franchises made it to their respective post seasons?


And they played tonight!

You may not have realized it, but the R-Phils are the talented, rambunctious, misfit team that wins championships.  The transient nature of the game within its lowest bowels means players who were contributing every day may be shipped out the next for “player development” purposes or some stupid thing; so for a team to come together and rally around each other/their sick coach/a local zoo animal is an even more heartwarming experience than normal.

There’s the natural athlete with the troubled past; the new guy with the unbelievable stuff; the slugger with the ambiguous future; the grizzled vet just looking for a chance; the singer-songwriter just looking for a new challenge as he approaches his 70th year; the nurseryman folk hero who wandered the earth planting apple orchards and believing that by staying unmarried on earth, he’d be entitled to a spiritual threesome in the afterlife.

Yes, they’re all there.

So it’s no surprise that as the post season begins, the R-Phils aren’t just celebrating, they’re dominating.

Tonight, the R-Phils used their playoff berth to put together a victory over the Yankees’ Double-A Trenton Thunder.  Starter Austin Hyatt went six and a third innings, giving up four hits, two earned runs, and two inopportune walks while embarrassing four of the Thunder with humiliating K’s.

He was relieved by Tyler Knigge, who went 1.2 innings and got the win, and was subsequently relieved by Justin Friend, who registered the save.  Each pitcher gave up the same number of hits as strike outs (4, 2, and 1), and never gave Trenton the chance to rumble too intimidatingly.

Meanwhile, the offense refused to sit still.  Jake Fox opened the fifth with the kind of thing that made him famous in the 2011 Grapefruit League.  He seemed to inspire a frightening salvo of offense, and was followed by a Tug Hulett single, a Leandro Castro double, and a somewhat anticlimactic RBI groundout from Jiwan James.

That one-run-from-three-hits thing was just unacceptable by the R-Phils, who decided that the rest of the scoring would be done via merciless rocketing of opposing pitched balls.  Former despicable Giants prospect Tommy Joseph and Leandro Castro both came through, giving the final game score a 4-2 ring.

Game Two is tonight, 7:05, at FirstEnergy Stadium.