PhilsWeek! – The Phillies are awful! No, wait, the Phillies are awesome!
By Mike Lacy
Apr 13, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies managerRyne Sandberg
talks with crew chief Gary Cederstrom (38) and home plate umpire Mark Ripperger (90) during the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Marlins 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
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 Phillies go from awful to awesome in a matter of days
The Phillies did not fare so well against the Milwaukee Brewers. Each game in the series seemed to go about the same: The game would be close until the middle innings when the Brewers kept scoring against Phillies’ bullpen. The Phillies would be unable to match, and the once close game would become a lopsided contest. The result was a three-game sweep that made it look like it could be a very long season for the Phils.
This past weekend brightened that outlook. Being swept by the Brewers doesn’t seem so bad anymore considering the Brew Crew are currently on a nine-game winning streak. It looks like the Brewers may be a very good team, or else they’re on one of those runs where everything goes right for a team, and it doesn’t really matter who they play.
More importantly, the Phillies rebounded nicely with a sweep of their own against their division rivals, the Miami Marlins. For the mathematically inclined, the week can be summed up like this: Brewers > Phillies > Marlins.
It’s fairly safe to say that the Marlins are not a good team, but that’s why it was good to see the Phillies beat them. There are plenty of difficult games on the schedule, so it’s important to win the games that are more easily winnable.
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.
Right Round, Flo Rida, 2008
The Phillies looked horrible against the Brewers, but all it took was a series against the Marlins to turn their season “right round.”
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!
Mark Grace was a star for the Chicago Cubs. Playing alongside Hall of Fame second baseman (and current Phillies manager) Ryne Sandberg, he gave the Cubs a spectacular right side of the infield. While the duo didn’t lead the team to a World Series (I mean, they’re not miracle workers), they did have a lot of successful years together.
It might be surprising to learn that Grace spent the last three years of his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was a member of the D’Backs’ 2001 World Series championship team that was built almost entirely on players who were more famous for playing elsewhere. Honestly, I could probably do a Right Player, Wrong Uniform for just about every player on that team.
Grace was solid in 2001, but by 2002, he was 38 years old, and clearly in decline. After 2003, he finally hung it up for good.
The week ahead
The Phillies will have their first meeting with the Atlanta Braves. The 2013 NL East champs are off to another fast start, so we’ll see if the Phillies are actually playing well, or if they just benefited from getting to face the Marlins for three straight games.
After that, they’ll head back on the road to face the Colorado Rockies, a team for which expectations appear to be considerably lower.
Inane rap lyric of the week
“Thirty-eight revolve like the sun ’round the Earth.” – Jay-Z, It’s Hot
Jay might be a good rapper and great businessman, but I wouldn’t put astronomy in his strengths column.
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!