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Monday, August 8, 2011

Phils Win 3 of 4 in San Francisco

In what I thought was a big series for the Phillies over the weekend, they beat the Giants, 3-1. It moved me a lot closer to the people who say don’t worry about San Francisco in the playoffs, though I’m not all the way there just yet. Except for Friday’s game, which is basically a throwaway game because Vance Worley versus Jonathan Sanchez won’t be happening in October, the Phillies scored 3, 2, and 1 runs.

The other side of that is the fact that the Giants offense is almost non-existent. They are probably the only potential playoff team where it’s safe to say, yes, the Phillies can beat them 1-0 or 2-1. The problem for Philadelphia is that the Giants are the only potential playoff team they can beat that way.

Of course, it’s Philadelphia so somehow the throwaway game becomes the talk of the town. Watching through heavy eyelids Friday night as the Phillies were up 4-1, I was just a little surprised to see Jimmy Rollins steal second base. Again, the Giants offense stinks.

My problem with it was Rollins proving yet again that he’s a front-runner – he gets a lot of his stats when games are just starting to get out of hand and the pressure eases up. He steals a bag up 3 runs late in the game. The next inning, now up 6-2, he gets a hit with guys on second and third for two RBI. Classic J-Roll.

But most people are focused on the fact that Rollins’ stat-padding steal got Shane Victorino plunked in the back later in the inning. I don’t get into the “unwritten rules” of baseball, and this was weak on both sides. Giant reliever Ramon Ramirez clearly wanted a fight because his glove was off faster than Victorino moved toward him. And Victorino looked like a weasel because he never really wanted to fight until he was being held back.

Worst of all was Giants catcher Eli Whiteside, who looked like some guy in a bar who suddenly has the guts to hit somebody after other people are in a fight. He clearly wasn’t trying to break anything up, and appeared to go after Placido Polanco. The Phillies third baseman missed Sunday’s game with a hip injury that may have flared up from the cheap shot.

If you are going to cry because you’re getting beat, get out of baseball. Throwing at guys is phony machismo. That said, these type of fights – more like shoving matches – are on guys like Rollins who want to pad their stats at the expense of getting their teammates beaned.

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