Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kicking and Screaming

"Afterwards, I just turned around and I've got Cueto kicking me in the back with his spikes. It's super unprofessional. I don't know where he learned how to fight."

Anyone shown this quote out of context would think it was some wild form of wrestling or kickboxing, though I can't think of any that allows the wearing of spikes. At any rate, Chris Carpenter was one mad Cardinal after his team's brawl with the Cincinnati Reds last night in the bottom of the first inning. The rivalry is heating up with Boston-New York-type intensity, and if this display is just the beginning, I can't wait for Sept. 3 when the two teams meet up again.

And for the record, Chris Carpenter, your privileged life growing up in New England pales in comparison to the hard, impoverished existence of Johnny Cueto before he became one of the lucky few from the Dominican Republic to ascend the ranks of Major League Baseball. Spikes or no, he could kick your ass in a fight any day.

The Phillies are continuing to show some fight without the meat of their order. Since my last posting, they have gone 2-2 and remain firmly latched onto the coattails of the division-leading Atlanta Braves. Four games is far too small a sample size to measure success, so maybe I should think about taking longer vacations.

Losing a game when you score nine runs is never fun, but Domonic Brown unloaded for his first major league home run. We were all waiting for that one, and if he wasn't just a replacement bat for Shane Victorino, I'd expect that shot to open the flood gates and lead to 15 more homers in the last eight weeks of the season. Hopefully, Ryan Howard can give the lineup that kind of production when he returns. God knows we're all used to it this time of year.

Getting everyone back healthy will be key because in less than a week, the Phillies start a stretch of 24 games in 23 days. As always, I'm sure they'll make things interesting all the way down to the wire.

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