Monday, June 3, 2024

Guess Who's Coming to Philly


So the Brewers are in town this week. Which is a pretty big deal, because people like to complain that the Phillies are only in first because they don't play enough first place teams, and now a first place team we match up really well against is here and people still aren't gonna be convinced they're for real in the long term. 

The big deal with this series is the return of Rhys Hoskins to Citizens Bank Park, and this is the kind of return that will get applause, because we all still love him and he's a solid baseball guy. And already you can see some novelty in the return of Hoskins. He's already hit a home run against his old team, and he's already been faced with a pickoff attempt from his old catcher. I loved that, by the way, because you could tell JT did it just to do it, and you can see Rhys go 'REALLY?'. And J.T. just shrugs. Like 'y'wanna leave? Leave. You're lucky your catcher's really good.'

And look, I've been at the park when former Phils come back. I saw Jim Thome return to CBP in 2 different uniforms, and it was a hero's welcome each time. Last year I saw Nick Maton and Matt Vierling get their World Series rings, and they got applause [til Maton homered]. Rhys deserves all the love he's gonna get from the opposing fans, but at the end of the day he's playing for a contender too, and he's gonna still do awesome things, just...not for us. Though I will say, seeing he's hitting .230 with more strikeouts than hits, there is something very therapeutic to finally going 'well he's not really our problem anymore, is he?'

The Brewers hot streak to this point can be attributed not only to William Contreras, but a pretty cool team effort from people you wouldn't expect. Blake Perkins, Brice Turang, Joey Ortiz and Bryse Wilson are all shaking off the cobwebs and performing as they should. Ortiz especially is having a great full rookie campaign, he's hitting .293 with 21 RBIs and 5 homers. Brice Turang already has 20 steals, and while it's not Elly numbers it's still pretty great. Perkins is really multifaceted and is probably the best defender on the team. These guys are hitting, and they're a solid unit.

And in addition to that you have Willy Adames, having another great season that's making the Rays regret giving up on him to make room for a sexual predator. Adames is hitting .260 with 9 homers and 42 RBIs, plus 60 hits. The offensive production keeps coming with him, and he's still a very fun and satisfying player to watch. It also helps that Christian Yelich is still in his prime, and has a .323 average at the moment. The way this team's hitting, they could keep the other guys at bay for a while. The pitching situation isn't ideal, they maybe need two more proven answers before they can really skirt on by, but the offense has made it feel like less of a problem.

I hope they all have a nice time in Philly. Not too nice, but...I hope they have fun.

Coming Tomorrow- One of the many excellent starters in Seattle.

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