Wooo, comeback win! One of those wins that really make you feel good about the rest of your day.
When you say, “Hey, have a good weekend!” to your co-workers on your way out, you’re not picturing them also burning alive. Ha ha! We pulled it off! You know, if we weren’t past the part of the season where it’s pretty clear a team isn’t going to make the playoffs, this would have been a win that made us think maybe we could make those playoffs!
We can’t, though.
The Phillies 6-5 victory over the Cubs, after a 5-0 deficit early on, just felt right. And it wouldn’t have happened without the timely offense and accurate defense. Hey, how about that Chase Utley diving stop to end the game? Atta boy, Chase. We sure do like you.
Then there was John Mayberry’s outfield assist in the bottom of the seventh. Man, that was cool. Look, MLB.com has labeled it “Mayberry’s strong throw.” Let’s all re-live that moment.
My god, that was ****ing terrible.
If a mother outfield assist had given birth to a litter of outfield assists, that’s the one she would have let all the others devour alive. Let us examine the two distinct sides that make this a terrible-looking out, but still technically an outfield assist that MLB.com is forced to acknowledge and compliment.
THE ‘WTF JOHN MAYBERRY’ SIDE
Hey, it got the runner out and preserved the lead. Besides, how does it compare to both of these now legendary outfield cease and desists.
But, let’s leave both of those former Phillies starting outfielders out of this. This is about John Mayberry and John Mayberry alone.
Mayberry isn’t a super defensive ball player. He’s really not a super ball player. He’s in a 17-way tie for 82nd place in the league in outfield assists, with three. No one is expecting Gold or even Styrofoam Glove-defense from him out there. But this play was notable because it had all the characteristics of a Mayberrying with the end result of more of a Browning.
“It’s gonna trickle to the plate,” Tom McCarthy broadcasted, with ‘trickle’ being a baseball term we use to describe exceptionally ‘strong’ throws. Chris Wheeler spent the next few minutes grappling with the decision to say a bad thing about something, and in the end, even he couldn’t summon any positive energy. Lately, those brave enough to try and say something complimentary about Mayberry just wind up saying an insult in the style of a compliment.
“That thing looked like it took four hops,” Wheeler finally confessed.
Just three, actually, Wheels, but we appreciate your descent into madness.
As McCarthy wound up putting it, “Navarro has nothing in his legs, and the ball won the race to the plate.” So yes, we credit the will power of the baseball mostly for this one, as he did not have a great burst of momentum behind him. Somewhere in the stands, that baseball’s ex-wife watched their kids celebrate daddy’s big play at the plate, and wondered if maybe, just maybe, it was time to dump that frisbee she’d started dating and take him back.
THE ‘DIONER NAVARRO RUNS LIKE A PARADE FLOAT’ SIDE
Base running is not the thing that makes Navarro a baseball player. He’s like a rhinoceros with another rhinoceros strapped upside down to its back, with less foot speed. He hasn’t stolen a base in four years, and no one wants him too. If Dioner Navarro took off unannounced, there would be more panicked sighs in the dugout than when Bryce Harper starts tracking a ball toward the fence. This is probably the fastest he’s ever moved, and that’s just because of the force of Chase Utley’s blow as he tried to run through Navarro’s sternum.
In ten years of anxious glances from first base coaches, Navarro is an actually impressive 10-for-20 base stealer. That’s a 50% success rate. That’s better than Chase Utley, the smartest man in the world. Navarro also has a career Base Running Runs (BRR) total of -3.5, meaning his base running is so bad that it gives runs to the other team, I think.
But hey, that’s the price a guy pays when he’s a catcher who has zero qualms about being in the way when he’s on the other side of a play at the plate. Like Mayberry’s arm, no one is expecting Navarro to win the Platinum Cleats or whatever is the base running equivalent of Gold Gloves.
Regardless, in the split second that you have as an outfielder to position yourself for a throw, if you have half of the split second to wonder, ‘Is the guy I’m about to try and get Dioner Navarro?’ and the answer is ‘Oh that’s right, yes it is!’ then congratulations, you’re probably a few seconds from an outfield assist.
Dioner Navarro should never be safe on that play, and yesterday, we scraped the bottom line of feasibility.