Saturday, July 10, 2010

That Old Magic

Two straight nights of vintage comeback magic may just have awakened the Phillies from their slumber and served notice they may be wounded but are still very dangerous.

Two straight nights during which most of the heroes came from the ranks of the forgotten. Brian Schneider was the man of the hour Thursday evening. Schneider was picked up by the Phils last off-season when no one else made him an offer. Last night Greg Dobbs delivered a key home run for the second time in a week. A few weeks ago Dobbs cleared waivers, baseball's equivalent of passing through the Gulag. The only reason Dobbs is here are injuries to key infielders. Cody Ransom is another forgotten man, playing for his fourth team in nine seasons and appearing in only his 201st game overall. Ransom's two run blast in the bottom of the ninth with two outs completed the Phils miraculous comeback from a 7-1 deficit to start the frame. He is here for the same reason Dobbs was brought back.

Then, of course, one of the heroes we expect to deliver, Ryan Howard, followed Raul Ibanez' double in the bottom of the tenth with a walk-off two run homer off of heretofore untouchable Arthur Rhodes. Howard, like Schneider the night before, could only manage a tame arrival at home plate into the waiting arms of his gleeful teammates. No matter. The Phils had come back against a tough opponent for the second straight evening after showing precious little most of the game.

Good teams do that. Good teams find a way to win. Good thing they did because starter Joe Blanton stunk up the joint. Ryan Madson pitched a perfect tenth and will probably get the call again instead of Brad Lidge until he shows he cannot do the job.

* * * * * * * *

Cliff Lee may be the best pitcher ever to be traded three times in a year. As far as I'm concerned, he is the poster boy for the impact of free agency on player movement.

No comments: