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The Phillies have been taking their fans on quite a ride lately, haven't they? They piled up an 8-2 record on their recent homestand, including an offensively explosive sweep of the Rockies, two of three from the former NL East leading Marlins and three of four from those Cincinnati Reds.
And now the Atlanta Braves were kind enough to get into the act. After taking three of four from the reeling Marlins, they invited the Phils to come and play. And things went the Braves way for eight innings, as the Phils were struggling to get anything real going.
I was listening to the game on the radio (I have a confession to make here - I don't have Comcast, I have DirecTV - so all Phillies games are blacked out for me...which is why I don't bother writing about them on any consistent basis), and had stopped listening when they entered the seventh down 2-1.
Little did I know that the Braves bullpen would come through for me. The Phils scored once in the 9th to tie it at 2, and then scored twice in the 10th to take the lead. I just watched the replay of the game's final play, and I really wish I could have seen it. I hate Comcast....but I digress...
Anyway, score another nice win for the Phils! With a 3 1/2 (Florida), 4 1/2 (Atlanta) and 5 1/2 (New York) game lead in the NL East, it's a nice time to be a Philadelphia baseball fan.
Other NL East (in)Action
The Reds knocked the crap out of the ball to the tune of 17 hits en route to burying the Marlins 11-3. Ken Griffey Jr. collected two hits, but neither of 'em was his 600th home run. I hope ESPN does the right thing and shows his momentous bomb as much as they possibly can once he hits it.
The Mets continue to mystify, as their star pitcher - the guy who was supposed to make all the difference as the Phillies quickly faded into the sunset - Johan Santana, lost his fourth game in a 2-1 contest to the Padres. Yeah, you could say that I haven't forgotten the many many writers who disrespected the Phils so much that they put them in third place behind the Mets and Braves with a dismissive, condescending tone toward the Phillies. Maybe they don't have the pitching, but it doesn't seem to matter right now.
And speaking of the Phillies pitching, it was nice to see Brett Myers pitch a decent game for a change. Hell, more than a decent game - he was on the verge of a no-hitter! Not bad considering some of his previously dreadful performances this year. Let's hope we see more of this! And Cole Hamels, any time you want to pitch a complete game (his second), you go right ahead. I'm sure those five runs didn't help keep you focused...
News From That Other League
Pittsburgh Steelers fans, I join you in lamenting the death of the great Dwight White. Now two members (Ernie Holmes is the other) of the devastating Steel Curtain are gone. Rest easy, Mad Dog. If you saw him on the great America's Game series on the NFL Network, you saw a great show. White was an enagaging, interesting and funny storyteller. Behbigben15, Steel Town - if you haven't seen these already, look for 'em - they're a treat for any Steeler fan. Of course, you non-Steeler fans should like 'em as well.