Series 6-Pack: Phillies Mid-Season Series Preview


Justin Klugh of That Balls Outta Here was kind enough to organize some questions to throw at us and answer some in return about the current Giants and Phillies series going on right now. The added snark is free.

Tell us about what Philly has added since we last met and how has it or will it impact the team? Will Pence be a difference maker?
Pence is a difference maker.  The great part about trades is, no matter who we gave up, no matter what the future will be like, right now, we have a shiny new toy.  We have an interesting acceptance process in Philly, in that we want really, really badly for a player to come in and do something to endear himself so that we can create memes and signs and t-shirts.  Hunter’s done that and more.  Not only does he have a secret handshake with Polanco already, but he has openly interacted with us on Twitter.  That’s like feeding animals at the zoo.  I can’t even describe the giggling hysterics that are going on.  Its embarrassing, quite frankly.  And that’s coming from a guy who couldn’t stop smiling when he had a brief conversation with David Herndon about Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  (Okay I swear it happened, but I just checked and apparently @dhern15’s account has been deleted.)

Also he protects Ryan Howard who has been hitting a lot better blah blah blah.

Still bitter about NLCS? Do you think that is a team motivator?
Yes.  Yes.

Do you guys really hate Cody Ross that much? I mean, it’s Cody Ross, an average to sub-par player. We’re not talking Carlos Beltran.
Picture this.  You come home and your place has been absolutely decimated by a thief.  He took everything, and not only that, he did it without leaving a trace of evidence.  You’re not even confident narrowing it down to “he.”

But then weeks later you find out it wasn’t a criminal mastermind like you had assumed–it was some teenage jackoff from your neighborhood who just wanted to pawn all your shit so he could buy his ugly girlfriend some expensive jewelry.

That’s what getting beaten by Cody Ross feels like.

Are the Phillies and fans, concerned at all about playoffs? You have a good lead in NL East, but do you have any concerns at all about the Braves? What will be the biggest struggle if and when you make the playoffs?
Right now, no, I’m not immediately concerned about making the playoffs.  Staying in them will be the challenge.   Maybe the Braves will catch fire.  They’re pretty good.  But if we can add to this lead, get into the double digits…… I don’t know.  Truth is, there is no such thing as a comfortable lead.  Let me tell you a little story called “Black Friday.”

Actually, let me just have Wikipedia do it.  That shit happens all the time.  Part of being a baseball fan is living in constant fear.  So I will continue to do so, whether we have 100 wins or 120 wins [EDITOR’S NOTE: That is impossible at this point.]

Which do you think will be a better match-up, Hamels vs Cain or Oswalt vs Lincecum?
Hamels-Cain.  I’m tickled that Oswalt is back, but about a month ago I was convinced he was going to walk away forever.  And now in his return he’s going up against Tim Lincecum.  So.  Let’s just see how that goes.

Giants Bullpen vs Phillies Bullpen. Who wins?

Whelp, Michael Stutes has come back down to earth, but Antonio Bastardo’s still rocketing through the atmosphere.  Lidge is back and seems to be jacked beyond belief to be here.  His small sample size has been effective.  Madson is money.  Then there’s long relievers in Herndon and Kendrick, and actually, I think Scott Mathieson, who is terrible, is taking Madson’s place while he’s on paternity leave, but that will be remedied before the series is over.

I’d never bet against our guys, but any mildly aware baseball person will tell you the Giants have to have the best bullpen, otherwise they wouldn’t be in first place with a stingy offense that somehow got stingier when Buster Posey left.