Feeling confident about the Phils? You're not the only one. Pushed by active betters (presumably, a few of them local) over the course of the Game 5 of the NLCS, the Sportsbook betting odds for a Phillies' World Series Championship started to drop. At +500 at the start of the game, the line dropped to +400 sometime after the 3rd, +300 in the 9th, and +200 before Ken Rosenthal had finished his postgame interviews with two men who appear to be giants.
By the time you read this, it'll probably be even money. Admit it, even that number might seem low why shouldn't the Phillies be the favorites?
After taking care of Giants and ace Tim Lincecum in the final game in San Francisco, the Phils head back to Philadelphia needing only two hometown-fueled wins from former NLCS MVPs to raise their NL third pennant in three years. Considering that your Home Team has yet to put together a single complete game, in the sense of firing on all cylinders, it is quite a testament to talent they've assembled.
It must be the talent, because throughout the series it hasn't been the play. The Home Team's bats, gloves and arms have taken turns looking impossibly raw. Marred by errors mental and otherwise the Phillies haven't acted like they're in the midst of their annual postseason run; they've acted like they just got off the bus in Clearwater at the other end of the season. Game 5 started off looking like it would not be an exception. Doc opened the day by issuing his first leadoff walk of the year, and then let the runner come around on a botched ground ball from the normally unflappable Chase Utley.
After taking the lead in a bizarre third inning that you've surely heard about roughly 640 times by now, the Phillies merely settled in and hung in for their second win in five tries. Actually, no one was ever settled in, and it wasn't the Phillies as a whole who wasn't doing the settling it was Roy Halladay, who continues to establish himself as a local legend.
After throwing the National League's first ever playoff no-hitter in the NLDS, and not having his best stuff in Game 1 of this series, no one really knew exactly what to expect out of Halladay. So, when his velocity dropped, he started hanging breaking balls, missing locations and laboring through innings, many started to assume to perhaps he had finally hit his innings limit, or maybe just maybe tonight wasn't one of those nights. Both theories were incorrect not only did Halladay still hold the Giants to two runs in six innings pitched, and not only did he put up that line despite a less-than-mediocre defensive showing behind him, but it turns out that he did it after pulling his groin in the second inning (or, at least it is being reported as the second; Dubee visited him in first, which I can't recall ever happening in the regular season). Seriously, despite not being able to properly push off, the Phils' ace refused to take himself out of the game, and still got a playoff win. That's like climbing K2 without a shoe, or playing golf with a shovel. I'm not sure how exactly the Phillies blogosphere can step up their Doc-trust, but rest assured, they'll find a way.
You know, I guess this is funner.
Onto the notes â¦
- Coming into the series a popular narrative was developing: the Giants stink at D. It's true, but it didn't really show itself until tonight, when a series of bizarre miscues cost the San Franciscans big.
- A cannon isn't strong enough, Werth has a Gustov. I hope Cody Ross learned a valuable lesson about playing with it.
- With Cody Ruth's monster series continued. He had another RBI double last night, brought his OPS is up to an even one million.
- Despite the power outage (never words you want to use to describe your $125 million power hitter), Ryan had actually looked good this series. No more. No. 6 ended the game with a sombrero and an error.
- Maybe it's a product of the San Fran offense, but the Madson-Lidge combo is looking 08-esque.
- Phils in 7
First, the positives: If we throw out the Phillies last regular season game â a meaningless 8-7 loss where Oswalt and Hamels combined to throw just three innings â the Phillies were 37-3 in games where (1) one of their three aces started and (2) they scored at least four runs. If the Phils' feast-or-famine offense wakes up even a little bit a comeback isn't out of the question at all.
In fact, it would probably be hard to find a team better suited to make it back from 3-1: once Halladay wins game 5 by sheer force of will, all the Phils need to do is win two home games started by former NLCS MVPs against the Kung Fu Pandas of the world. Will it be easy? Not as easy as it should have been, but maybe.
On top of all that, there is a clear precedent â the 2007 ALCS. After falling back 3 games to 1 to an inferior Indians' team and despite facing two guys in the top 5 of the '07 Cy Young voting (C.C. Sabathia, who took home the award, and Fausto Carmona, who finished fourth), the Boston Red Sox demolished the Tribe in 3 straight by a combined score of 30-5. In baseball, sometimes the better teams win, and despite what we've seen this week, the Phils are still better.
Now, with that out of the way, let us talk about the negatives. If you're going to pin last night's loss on one man, the man you pin it on is Uncle Cholly. After starting Joe Blanton over presumed Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, Charlie pulled Blanton in the middle of the fifth with men on first and second, two outs, and a rookie at the plate. For the record I'm not buying the logic that we just don't know what would have happened if the Phils had pitched Halladay instead of the remaining half of the Redneck Wrecking Crew. We all what would have happened: The Phillies would have won. So, if you're going away from the Phils' ace, you better have confidence that what you're going with can handle the job. Bailing on his gameday starter before the guy could prove him right, it was clear Charlie didn't. If you have faith in Blanton to start a NLCS game, you have to have faith in him to actually pitch it.
In his place he opted for Jose Contreras, one of the few reliable relievers the Phillies have had all season, and asked the Big Truck to get one and only one out. He did, but in doing so he left the Phils (18th best bullpen ERA in the majors) in a matchup of the pens with the Giants (2nd best bullpen ERA). Not surprisingly, this didn't turn out as planned. Four innings later, now out of bullpen arms he trusted, Manuel was forced to hand the ball to Roy Oswalt in a situation in which he's patently out of his comfort zone. Obviously, it did not work out well.
Moving forward, it didn't get prettier. In the 8th inning Charlie left Ben Francisco at the plate instead of pinch hitting Ibanez and forcing a move out of Giants' head man Bruce Bochy, who would have gone with a lefty. Even if Raul would have K'd (plausible), you'd have had Chooch at the plate against a left handed reliever, or Brian Wilson entering a tie game in the 8th inning, both excellent options. It was an obvious move at the time, and it is a more obvious move now.
What Manuel does well â and does it really well â is create an atmosphere where his star players are comfortable, and where they can thrive. It isn't a fluke that guys like Chase, Ryan, Jayson, Jimmy and Shane have all emerged into legitimate top level talents underneath him. But when those guys aren't hitting, Manuel is a negative. This postseason, Howard is looking for his first RBI, and Victorino's .214 average tops the rest of those four. They aren't hitting. I hate to say it, but game four on Cholly.
Onto the notes â¦
- Bumgarner definitely balked on Jimmy's âcaught stealing,, but Jesus Christ he has a pickoff move. There is no way to pick him up.
- When Ryan Howard got paid, both sides of the debate made strong points. The con said you should never set the market for a one-tool player. The pro side? They said Howard always came up big when it matters. Well, it matters.
- I know it didn't work out, but Chooch trying to punch the ball out of Posey's hand at his play at home was a great catcher-move
- For a guy who doesn't tend to show much emotion Joe Buck was pretty shocked that Pat Burrell made it first-to-third on a double.
- Wally Bell had a pretty colorful strike zone last night. Not a good thing.
- From the guy who brought you âPhils in 5 or 6â, a new prediction: Phils in 7.
Growing up religiously following local sports, I developed a serious pet peeve: namely, sportswriters' obsession with the home-town team. By this I don't mean overcoverage that, I love but rather the apparently sincere belief of every last member of the local media that everything that happened on the field/court/ice was the product of their team. Win 6-0? Your ace shut the other guys down. Lose 6-0? Your guys couldn't get hits when it mattered.
In the world of sports writing, nothing ever happens to your team; local players always enact their will on opponents, for better or for worse. I'm bringing this up now, in the wake of the San Francisco Giants' 3-0 victory over the defending National League Champion Phillies, because today that logic is exactly correct.
Despite Giants' starter Matt Cain's gaudy line 7 innings, 2 hits, no runs he wasn't dominant. At all. The Phillies managed just eight balls out of the infield, including lazy flies, a bloop hit, and a grounder that went through. Through seven innings Cain had thrown 50 balls, and yet had only three walks â the Phillis OBP might have tripled if they had just kept the bats on their shoulders. This start wasn't about Big Daddy Cain, it was about the Phils' offense, and the fact that offense should start be seen as a real problem.
A lot of people around here (me included) have assumed the Phils will cruise to the World Series on the backs on pitching and defense. It may be true, but the assumption has blinded us to the fact that Phils' offense might not be world-class anymore. It's true. This year the Phils hit 58 fewer home runs than they did in 2009, and scored nearly 50 fewer runs. Worse, come money time, it has noticeably declined. So far this postseason the Phillies have had back-to-back hits once. I remember when it would be a problem if they had only had back-to-back homers once in two weeks. For the second season, the Phils are hitting .203 overall (though the Giants have the same batting average and a lower OPS) and just .141 when a runner gets on. I know the Giants' rotation is legitimate, but those numbers can't keep up.
Except, you know, they might. Chase has been on a steady decline since 2007; Ryan has battled but looks like he's up there to hit singles; Ibanez is getting dangerously close to turning those âRaaaauuullllllâ chants into actual boos; Jayson Werth is acting like he's focused on which AL East team he'll suit up for next year; and the Jimmy Rollins we see now is probably the Jimmy Rollins we're getting going forward. The majors' oldest roster is playing like a bunch of old men.
Look, I'm not backing off my prediction that the Phils win this series (or that they win in 6, the Giants scrap-heap offense makes the 2010 Phillies look like 2008 version), but right now the Phillies are swinging their bats like they need Mick Billmeyer to unsheath his binoculars. That has to change.
Notes from the game â¦
- Forget the made-up sports agent stats, that was a quality start Cole Hamels just threw
- Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe all of Ryan Howard's hits have been to left or left-center field. Kudos to the man for going with the pitches lord know he's at his best when he's working the entire field but Rube didn't give him $20 mil to be a mid-season Ibanez.
- Bad news Chase Utley, you're only allowed to do one of the following:
- (1) rock your cool-guy sunglasses flipped upside-down on the brim of your cap during a sunny day, or
- (2) botch ground balls. Choice is yours.
- The Giants lineup today and the Giants lineup opening day had just three of the same starters (Renteria, Rowand, & Huff) and no one in same spot in the lineup. The Phils? Exact same starting 8.
- Phils in 6. And relax about Blanton starting tomorrow, the bullpen is fully rested.
After an opening game that saw the Phillies K 13 times, leave 7 men on base, not get a single hit with runners in scoring position, and look generally sloppy and complacent, your hometown team appears to have righted the ship.
Led by the ViceRoy, Roy Oswalt, who looks like he's gunning for his second career NLCS MVP, the Phils came out sharp and assertive. They were patient at the plate, aggressive on the basepaths and the mound, and looked like the champions we're all assuming they'll be. Better for Phils fans, nothing about this game (fine, nothing but Jimmy's first hit) was a fluke. The Giants' error was the product of a determined running game, all the Phils runs were worked for, and this is the Oswalt you should expect to see.
In his start against the Reds, Oswalt seemed to dance and play with his opponents. His fastball was his best pitch, but he refused to stick with it, instead watching slider after slider get pounded by the Cincinnati offense. Last night? The exact opposite. Nearly 70 percent of his 111 pitches were either two- or four-seam fastballs, and most of the off-speed stuff he did throw came late. He kept it simple, made the Giants try and hit his heat âhere, Andres Torres, get those 37 Â½ ounces around on 93 up and awayâ and dominated. Even Charlie followed his lead: The manager approaching the mound, talking to his second ace, and letting him finish the inning was a classic âour best beats your bestâ power move.
It is a move Manuel can pull because his best does beat Bruce Bochy's best. Watching these two teams play, it's hard not to believe that we're looking at a mismatch. More and more, this series is starting to shape up like last year's World Series with the Phils as the Yankees. In both, the road team stole game 1 from a superior but unfocused opponent, and in both the road team was simply outmatched in game 2. It has become clear that if the Giants are going to beat the Phils, they're going to have to either play over their heads, or have the Phils play under theirs. What you saw tonight was two teams showing who they really are, and you saw who is better.
Onto the notes â¦
- Thought Oswalt was impressive before? Check out the strikezone he was working with. Not too many freebies there.
- For years we've all seen Chase as the prototypical #3 hitter, but unless his power comes back (and given all the nicks and bruises he takes, it might not) it may be the 2-hole that suits him best. Utley has a great eye that he isn't afraid to use, fantastic bat control and is as smart a baserunner as there is in the majors.
- I know the Zoo with Roy bandwagon is getting pretty crowded, but THIS is straight up brilliant. Check it out.
- Ryan Howard had himself a ballgame at the plate. He was disciplined, took good cuts, and didn't bail out once against a guy who has owned him before. All of that is good, because if he had looked bad against Sanchez you'd be reading about 14 different op-eds about how he let down the team by appearing at the Birds game in the afternoon. It was a stupid angle, and good on the Big Piece for putting it to bed.
- You can argue all day over whether Jimmy Rollins' big hit shows that he's back and ready to contribute, but what isn't debatable is how much fun he is to listen to when he's happy and confident.
- One warning in regards to Game Three: Throughout his career, Cole Hamels has been a significantly worse pitcher during the day than at night. My guess? It doesn't matter. Phils should win big.
Coming into game one of the Phillies' annual appearance in the National League Championship Series, conventional wisdom seems to agree on two things
- We're destined for an epic, life-changing, game-one pitchers' duel, and
- The Phillies are winning this. Easily.
And while the contrarian in me wants to argue, nit-pick, and predict a second-inning Halladay/Lincecum collision that takes out both pitchers â¦ I kinda agree with both.
To the first point, the rarity of this matchup really can't be overstated. In Halladay and Lincecum we have the two best pitchers in the National League, the last two Cy Young winners (Everyone cool with assuming Roy takes home the hardware this year? Yes? Yes. Good) and the owners of two of the best pitches in the majors â per fangraphs and common sense, Doc has the best cutter, The Freak the best change. Better, coming off last week's everything-you-can-I-can-do-better pissing contest, they're both red hot. Out of the eight pitches they throw, only one â Linc's curve â isn't plus or plus-plus. Tonight's game is, on paper, without hyperbole, the best postseason pitching matchup you've ever seen. So yeah, the hype is legit.
Unfortunately for the Giants, the second part of that conventional wisdom appears correct as well: this one shouldn't be close. The Phils pitch, hit, run and defend better. Their manager is bigger in Japan, their fans are drunkee, and they have an extra game at home, where their advantage is greater. Madison Bumgarner might trump Joe Blanton, but with Kung Fu Panda held out of the Giants lineup for sucking, a coherent argument can be made that the Phillies have an advantage at every position, and each of the top three starters. The pitching matchup makes the series a must-watch, but the drama does not.
Of course, as Mo Udall once mused, âIf you can find something everyone agrees on, it's wrong.â Game on.
Notes from the pregame:
- The Phils lefties - Ryan Howard & Ibanez â spent a lot of their batting practice working the opposite field. Look for them to be intentionally late tonight.
- They put me outside in the aux box, where I have to weight down my notes with my computer cord, notebook, and voice recorder. It may have died down a bit by gametime, but rest assured, tonight's wind is going to be a factor tonight.
- Despite not making the NLCS roster Greg Dobbs was out early taking grounder after grounder at 3B. Doubt it'll matter, but thought you should know.
- Here is a fun fact: Ken Rosenthal is about 4'2â. He was interviewing Werth pregame and barely came up to the future-former-Phils' shoulder.
- I'm sure our local plethora of Phillies blogs have covered this one nearly to death â¦ but Brian Wilson's beard really is tremendous.
- Forget about Lincecum being a product of Candlestick (I call Pac-Bell Park âCandlestickâ, now and forever), he actually has slightly better splits on the road.
All but lost in last night's Cole Hamels domination/Reds sweeping/Oswalt troll-facing in the Phils NLDS-clinching 2-0 win was TBS announcer Brian Anderson using the most baffling idiom we'd ever heard. In the fourth inning, after Scott Rolen broke his 0-for-the series with a single, Anderson said:
"Rolen gets the skunk out of the box."
It is, honestly, a befuddling thing to say. Our drunken smartphone Googling produced unsatisfactory results, a bunch of stuff related to literally getting a skunk out of a humane trap. While I can imagine that finding oneself with a boxed skunk would indeed be an unpleasant situation, this struck me as far too on-the-nose an explanation for such a colorful euphemism. More extensive Google research today (adding quotes, expanding the search to "got the skunk out of the box") reveals that the saying gets heavy (but not exclusive, witness this account of the poor Lomira, Wis.,high school girls volleyball team whose victory over Omro was described as such by the Fond du Lac Reporter) usage on fishing message boards(!?). Which makes no sense to us (we don't fish).
Can anyone, anyone at all, help us with the etymology behind "got the skunk out of the box"? What on earth does it mean?
We tend to leave the meme spotting to the trained experts, but we just had to share this riff on the Cole Hamels fist-pump meme that 's sweeping the philsblogosphere.
Editor's note: This is the time of year that CP sports columnist E. James Beale lives for. He'll be posting maniacally on the Clog about the Phils' World Series run from now until the parade. Enjoy.
Growing up, the Beale nuclear family consisted of my mother, my father, my sister, and me. Two of us my dad and I â were 25-games-a-year baseball fans, die-hards who could tell you the Colorado Rockies farm system before it existed (side note: Derrick Gibson was going to be NICE). Two of us my sister and my mom were not.
For me, the main difference between the Philadelphia Phillies regular- and postseason campaigns is the type of questions non-fans ask me about the team. During the season, my sister may check-in to verify/chime in on something she read in the style section (âWhy is Cole adopting an African baby?! He needs to get out now tell him not be a Brad!â) and my mother may worry about their well-being (âJimmy looks tired: Tell him to sleep more. We kind-of-know his wife, you know.â) but more or less, when the conversation turns to the Home Team, they shrug and move on. In the postseason, though? Different story. They're superfans. Both of them.
Which means that right about now, for me as a commentator, they're my most valuable assets. This time of year, if I want to talk Phils with someone who knows what they're looking at, I'm having a 45 minute conversation about the merits of Ross Gload vs. Mike Sweeney pinch hitting in the 7th, or where Cholly should place Jimmy Rollins in the lineup. It's the type of stuff that fascinates me your classic insider baseball but doesn't exactly resonate with the cocktail-party set. The stuff from the fam? That can be gold. Case in point, an e-mail from the mother:
â¦ also, I skimmed the morning sports. In my first wave of paying semi-attention, I found out that the Reds were the Big Red Machine (did I get that right?) [and that in the 1970s] they were definitely the overdogs. Do people in other cities see the Phillies that way? Can Philadelphians ever?
A lifelong Philadelphian, my mother simply couldn't conceive that someone might believe the Phillies were actually good. It's absolutely true for years, the psyche of an entire city of sports fans was built on the premise that they were going to lose, a pendulum that has now swung but nothing someone in the thick of following a team could ever see.
Fans have been so focused on the lineup changes and the merits of Charlie Manuel's bullpen strategy that we've all missed the tree farm for the pine needles: Philadelphia is a powerhouse, the type of team that Queens can only dream of having, and who both of Atlanta's fans hate from afar. After years of imaging themselves lovable, Phillies fans may need to embrace a whole new identity the enemy.
The 81 Percent Theory
Back in the early 1990s, Jimmy Frazier and Eldon Synder published a paper entitled "The Underdog Concept in Sport." The crux of the paper was a simple hypothetical they posed to college students: Two teams, A and B, were meeting in a best-of-seven playoff series, and team A is âhighly favored.â Who are you pulling for? 81% took the dog.
While I don't have any hard numbers on the general public's rooting interest in the Phils' now-complete NLDS sweep over the Cincinnati Reds and their formally fearsome offense, I imagine that it wasn't exactly favorable to our Home Team. Next round, when the Phillies casually dispatch the Giants/Braves winner, it'll probably be the same. It makes sense armed with Roy, Roy and ColeRoy, the NLDS-record 11 hits allowed was hardly a fluke but it still comes as a shock: The Phillies, literally the losingest franchise in the history of professional sports, are, in fact, âthe overdog.â People see the Phils as the bad guys â not just because their fans are famous assholes who openly threaten to pour beer on your children for the sin of wearing the wrong colors, but now also because our city is actually nice at sports.
It's a new world, sports fans, get used to it.
Couple more notes
There is a second side to this âheavy favorite' angle, and I'm backing this one up with a study too. Back in January of this year two separate researchers Nathan Pettit and Robert Lount asked a separate group of undergrads a simple cognitive question: How many uses can you think of for a knife? Pettit and Lount told half their students that the scores would be compared with those of a more prestigious university, and the other were told they'd be compared to one generally considered worse. The first half outperformed the second, and the results weren't particularly close. If the students thought they were smarter, then functionally, they were and the exact same effect happened in reverse. If you're a fan of a team that everyone in the world believes in, this would be good news.
Turned on WIP this morning, thinking that the Phils might finally have won the station's and its callers' hearts. Nope they were bashing the Birds for not beating San Franciso badly enough. Oh, WIP.
Now that I'm done bashing WIP let me praise one of their employees I'm a fan of: Before Game 2 I was talking with Paul Jolovitz about the Phils' aces, and he brought up a good point: There isn't going to be one game this postseason where the Phils are expected to lose, save maybe a Lincecum game in San Fran (and if he's facing Halladay I have a hard time not believing that is a push). Does that guarantee them a championship? Of course not; baseball's short series lend themselves to bizarre outcomes, but lest we get it confused, this Phillies team is the favorite. (FWIW, the gambling odds bear this one out. According to Sportsbook the Phillies are currently even money to win the chip, and those odds were up before last night's win.)
I know all things Hamels are going to be beat to submission by the dailies today, so I'll just say this: When he's on and effective, he's really fun to watch. Not bad either.
The Best and Worst of Philadelphia fans were on display last night.
The fans were a huge part of this game. They distracted the away team with hankies, catcalls and boos that even Tyson Gillies would hear. They take genuine pride in getting in pitchers' heads, they understand and rise to a moment, and they really do care about wins and losses.
Also, they can be hilarious. In the bottom of the 7th inning Jay Bruce missed an easy fly ball, allowing two Phillies to score and turning the game around forever. In the top of the 8th Phillies fans started chanting âThank You, Jay Bruce,â loudly.
That said, what a short memory they have. Utley's second errors draws a round of âthis fucking guy"â from the Phillies' âfaithful.â We may be the best, but I've said it before and I'd be an asshole not to say it again: We're the worst too.
All the way back in October of 2007 the Philadelphia Phillies were a young, up-and-coming team with league-best power and an MVP first basemen. They had an exciting year, won the division from a hated rival, and then marched forward to the playoffs. There they threw two young starters (Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick) and a wily vet (Moyer), and were totally outclassed. They made stupid mistakes (caught stealing in every game) were unable to advance the few runners they got on base, and went home licking their wounds three short games later. Then, just one year later, they won one World Series, went to second, and appear well on their way to a third.
All of which is to say, don't fret young Reds. Sure you stunk this year (and don't get it confused, past tense is appropriate, this series is over), but not being ready for prime time happens, quite literally, to the best of us. It also happened to you.
Game Two: We Were There, Here Are 12 Things We Saw
1. Joe Morgan was in the house, either being a huge homer or doing actual homework in preparation for Fox's NLCS coverage. I'd be SHOCKED if it's the latter.
2. Re: all the early game âUtley's back at it againâ quips, I'd check a couple World Series' stat sheets before poo-poo ing Chase's 2009 postseason.
3. Chooch should and does get a ton of credit for calling excellent games, but he deserves to get some heat for last night's. Roy Oswalt's fastball had a ton of movement, and his slider looked bad.
4. I don't know if our pee cycles are perfectly aligned or if he's just got the bladder of a 4-year-old girl, but I could swear that Wheels is in the bathroom every time I go.
5. At this point in his career, Jimmy Rollins is a fine 7-hole hitter.
6. There were some faint âMVPâ chants for Ruiz after he limped to first after his HBP in the 6th. I know it sounds bizarre, but if you're the type of asshole who won't vote a pitcher MVP, they kinda make sense. This was his 22nd straight postseason game in which he reached safely.
7. Two points on Utley's phantom HBP. 1. You don't bail on a 101 MPH fastball up and in? You deserve first. 2. Kudos to Utley. Baserunners matter, and he was the tying run. His gamesmanship helped get in the heads of a team whose heads could obviously be gotten in.
8. One more on Utley: Postgame, Charlie talked about Utley's two errors, after non-answering for a couple minutes and mumbling something about how no one works harder Cholly got to the point, âI'm not benching him,â he said to laughs, then explained his motives, âI'm too old to fight.â
9. Come playoff time, CBP stays packed. After games are over, fans mill around, waiting for Harry to sing and taking in the scene. I don't think anyone expects something to happen, I just think they'd all rather be there.
10. Fun fact about Franciso's beaning (he took one off the dome): It didn't actually hit him, it drilled the brim of his helmet. Still, it was hard enough that his ears were ringing on the basepaths.
11. Dusty Baker on his team: âin my mind we outplayed them.â Dusty Baker's mind (#dustybakersmind) sounds like a hilarious internet meme.
12. J.C. Romero's eyebrows are something serious for the postseason. Dude looks like he went to the eyebrow waxer and told them to make him look like an evil anime character.
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