Phils 8, Metros 6
Record: 54 wins, 46 losses - First place, 1 game ahead of NYM & FLA
OK, I freely admit that the title of the post is better suited for the end of the series but I may not get to use it if I wait any longer as this club is maddeningly afraid of prolonged bouts with success. It is appropriate however because the Phils' last two victories against their despised nemesis to the north were highly unlikely results because they came when Mets' ace Johan Santana started. Alas, poor Johan was done in yet again by a faltering pen. If there is anything one can say about the Phillies that is tried and true, it is that they are a resilient bunch. This trait can be quite cute as in the case of last night at Shea but over the long haul of a season or several seasons, it's quite annoying. You cannot help but wonder exactly where the plate discipline and crafty hitting was for the past month when it suddenly popped up last night as Duaner Sanchez took the hill staked to a 3 run save situation. Single, single, single, fielder's choice, double, double, RBI ground out. Where the hell has that been? I loved it.
I talked earlier in the season about the sheepishness that overcomes me when this club is successful. Well, there is nothing to make me feel sheepish about the 9th inning last night. I am sure Whit will be quick to point out that Billy Wags would likely have mowed the Phils down in order but I am not so sure. Something about that guy brings out the best in the Phightins. No sir, last night was about demonstrating patience and poise. Up until the 9th, the Phils were anything but those two things. It was another typical sleepwalk against a great pitcher. The kind of pitcher the boys will have to face in probably 3 of the 5 games in the NLDS if they should nudge ahead of the Mets and Marlins at the finish line. In horribly predictable fashion, they could generate very little offense. This of course, had an adverse affect on the starter du jour - in last night's case, the newly acquired Joe Blanton. Joe Blanton is an inning eater apparently. It appears Joe Blanton will also be availing himself of all the fine delectables at The Bank. I can envision him unwrapping the aluminum foil from one of Tony Luke's offerings - the fat drizzling down his chin an onto his pinstripes.
The thing is, if the Phils can offer up a little patience at the plate as they did last night and couple it with starters who can keep the game in hand until the final 3 innings, things will be alright. I am still a doubter and surely this Mets club won't fold so easily so let's hang on and see what happens.