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State Of The Philadelphia Phillies: 3.5 Back With 29 To Play

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Last night’s 8-6 win over the Nats was everything. It showed this team will not give up, even after their $30m Starter can barely get through 3 innings. Most importantly, it left the Phillies still within striking distance of the NL East. The bullpen has tossed 29 IP over it’s last 9 games, The starting pitching has failed to pitch into the 6th in 5 of those games. The Phils are 3-6 during this time so they into today with a much needed day off. Allow me to lighten the mood here with some good news for Gabe’s guys by mentioning red hot Cubs head into Atlanta for a 4-game set. The Cubs are 7-2 in the Braves home park over the past three seasons and they also enter the series with a 17-9 record in August. Safe to say we are Cubs fans this weekend.

Over the past 2 weeks, my blogs not titled “Aaron Nola is the National League Cy Young,” have been depressing as fuck. I had no choice. So it’s time to get some hype up in here. Let’s talk about Roman Quinn for a second.

Roman is playing otherworldly right now. The guy had to force Odubel Herrera out of the lineup because he is playing that well. Granted Odubel sort of had it coming considering his play over the past 3 months, but none of us would ever expected this. If you followed the system closely, then you always knew Roman had superior talent. He was like a Billy Hamilton type who could actually get on base. Problem is the guy just couldn’t stay healthy. In his 7 professional seasons, the most games Roman ever played was 88. Even this year he only has 28 games under his belt because he was sidelined for 2 months with a torn ligament in his finger. For now, Roman is healthy and if he can be the leadoff hitter that he was last night, there is no one else I want playing CF right now. I love you Dubes but you have been pretty much useless against everyone not named Max Scherzer. So use this time you will be spending on the bench to think about what you’ve done.

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Let’s talk about our boy Carlos Santana a second. He has been a fan favorite all year long, hovering just above the Mendoza line while also headlining a mediocre defensive infield. However, I tweeted out last night that we can like him again after his 2-out go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the 5th last night.

Damnit, that was awesome to watch live. We fucking NEEDED that. More on Santana is that he has really started to heat up the last 2 weeks. Since August 15, Santana has an OPS of .921 which is highest on the team during that time with minimum 50 PA. And over the past his past 2 seasons, his Sept/Oct have been phenomenal as he has hit .306 with an OPS of 944. In each of these seasons, his team was chasing the pennant and Santana played his best when it mattered most. So I repeat…

The last update to this list of Phillies we don’t have to hate anymore was Tommy Hunter on August 3rd. Since then, Tommy has 2 saves, 2 holds, an ERA of 2.03 and a BAA of .191. This includes his Mariano Rivera style 2-inning save last night. I mentioned Scott Kingery on July 10th. The rookie has had his struggles, but is in no way a lost cause. In fact, his OPS in his last 10 games is 1.027 and has raised his season average 26 points during that stretch. Gabe stresses time and time again that Scott is learning on the job and his struggles will end the more plate appareances he has. I agree to that sentiment. However, the best of them all is without a doubt, Hector Neris who faced 2 more batters in last nights game. They both ended their plate appearances striking out of course. Since his recall on August 15th, Lost Cause Neris has faced 28 batters, struck out 18 of them and hasn’t allowed a run. Hey Bill James, what are your thoughts about 20.3 K/9?

As shitty as this team has performed in the last couple weeks, there are a few diamonds in the rough that give you hope. Even Seranthony, who we all thought his arm was hanging on by a thread has struck out the last 4 of the 7 batters he’s faced. Now, if everyone not named Aaron Nola can string together a few decent starts in a row, the offense with Wilson Ramos and Carlos Santana leading the way can stay hot, and the bullpen can perform like they did last night, then baby we got a stew going. Even though you sucked balls last night Jake, I’m behind you on this one.

In Jake We Trust. In Gabe We Trust. Go Phils.