Saturday, August 11, 2007

Three Back

It never gets boring to whip those Braves- particularly on a night where Flash gets the save- and Billy Wagner blows up right up I-95. Three games back! Many left to play head-to-head. One bad series for the Mets. One good series for the Phillies. I am not saying the wheels are coming off the cart- Beltran is back, Pedro Martinez ought to be better than whatever they currently consider the back of the rotation- but any part of a Phillies comeback was predicated on the Mets playing .500 ball for months. And New York has obliged.

Come on Adam Eaton. Gosh, but wouldn’t it help if Eaton stepped up tonight and found a way to defeat Cormier (0-2, 15.58 ERA) and win this game tonight? I’ve spared Eaton the rod this year. He’s taken the ball, won nine games- probably win will fourteen or so- and the club is over .500 when he starts- so it is hard to say he’s been a disaster. But man, they really need him tonight. This is a very win-able game- and hard to lose if Eaton delivers a quality start. Vegas has the Phillies at 6-7. Win this tonight- and the Braves are really behind the eight-ball Sunday. Drop three behind the Phillies- and Atlanta needs three-four weeks of good play just to get square if the Phillies play even break-even ball.

As Pat the Bat’s last remaining defender in Philadelphia- in that while he is grossly overpaid, I believe his home run total, runs scored and OBP save him from being a complete minus. It is heartening to see another baseball mind has seen the light. As Conlin writes, I know Pat has got some issues- but look at last year? Since when is .258, 29 homers, a zillion walks and 95 RBI a complete disaster? His end of the season swoon was very unfortunate- but...

The Phillies never gave up on the Bat for two reasons. One he makes a zillion dollars to walk a zillion times. No one wants a part of that dollars-and-cents mistake. But the other is… well ,it is hard to quit on a guy who, when having a bad year, hits 30 home runs and boast an OBP of 40%. Makes you wonder what a good year looks like- and further wonder what it would look like with him wearing a Braves’ uniform.

Plus, he seems a good clubhouse guy- which makes it easier to swallow the mistake. I root for Pat. I like him. As Conlin alludes to in the article, I think he tries and works. And man, was he a player in college. Can you imagine if Pat finds himself for even two months?

Regardless, if he keeps this finish up- with just one year at big dollars left, Gillick will find suitors this off-season.