The Phillies Are Coming, the Phillies Are Coming!
There was a time when the Phillies were a scary team. They had the hitting. They had the pitching. They had the everything, and quite frankly it was annoying. Here on the west coast all we knew about their fans was that they booed Santa Claus, threw up on children, and were generally an obnoxious bunch of people made more obnoxious by their team’s winning. Charlie Manuel once said he though Tim Lincecum was “good, not great.” Jonathan Sanchez pissed off Chase Utley during the NLCS and cleared the benches. But then Ryan Howard struck out looking against Brian Wilson and Giants went on to win the World Series.
For a few seasons now these two teams have been as evenly matched as they come. Last year the Giants were 3-4 against the Phillies. In 2010 they managed to go 3-3 in the regular season before vanquishing them back to whence they came in the NLCS. According to sportswriters there’s something of a rivalry between the two teams.
The Giants got Carlos Beltran, the Phillies got Hunter Pence. The Giants developed their spectacular pitching staff from the ground up, the Phillies went out and got the best starting pitchers money could buy. The Giants won the World Series in 2010, the Phillies didn’t go to the World Series in 2010.
But that’s neither here nor there. This is the brand new Phillies team that…wait. Utley’s injured again? And Howard too? So neither of those two guys will even be around for this week’s series? But Cody Ross…is in Boston now. And Jonathan Sanchez is in Kansas City. And Brian Wilson is out for the season. To top it all off, the very reason that the Phillies went out and got Hunter Pence didn’t re-sign with the Giants. But hey, I bet Charlie Manuel still thinks Lincecum isn’t great, so that’s something to get mad about. Rabble, rabble, rabble and all that jazz. Most of the reasons these two teams have to hate each other are gone (Shane Victorino notwithstanding) and once again the Giants have left me unable to grasp my own emotional state.
- Apparently Juan Pierre is on the Phillies. I find this information both surprising and funny. Surprising because Pierre is still doing things, and funny because he’s an adult Major League baseball player who still wears his cap under his batting helmet.
- I’m not worried about Lincecum yet because it’s early, and I plan on staying that way until at least May. I’m not one to panic about a couple starts where our ace pitcher has been rocked back to the Stone Age. That said, I reserve the right to overreact at any point between now and forever about any Lincecum-related panic.
- The closer situation is still fluid. Sergio Romo has yet to make an appearance since Wilson went down, while Santiago Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt have both pitched in non-save situations. Bochy is a man of defined roles and I imagine he’s defined Romo’s role as “closer.”
- This is my obligatory Brandon Belt mention. I hope he starts even though he probably won’t. Also, water is wet and the Pope is Catholic.
Nowadays there aren’t many reasons to get your jimmies rustled over a Giants/Phillies matchup, and quite frankly I’m OK with that. That is, until Cliff Lee returns to AT&T Park in the final game of the series. Or when Roy Halladay pitches the first game. Some guy named Joe Blanton is pitching in game two but he’s not nearly as important. If you find yourself not knowing how to feel about this series, welcome to the club. Personally I’d describe my feelings as goodbadexcitedboredconfusedindifferentemotionallyinvested, but I’m a man of simple emotions.