NEW YORK — The “Beefy Boys.”
The “Broad Street Bombers.”
Whatever you want to call the Phillies’ talented and expensive offense that has underperformed at times this season, was no-hit by the rival New York Mets on Friday at Citi Field. They are now 10-11. Kyle Schwarber was the only bright spot for the Phillies. He walked three times, stole a base and made an excellent diving stop in left field.
Friday marked the 20th time the Phillies were on the other end of a no-hitter. The Dodgers’ Josh Beckett plowed through Phillies hitters on a random Sunday afternoon in May nearly eight years ago. That was the last time the Phillies were no-hit.
Don’t panic. It’s one game and this was only the second-most devastating thing to happen in Philadelphia sports today.
But then again, baseball is supposed to be an escape — at least for most people. It’s supposed to make you forget about how shameful and embarrassing life really is. Then again, Phillies fandom, and baseball fandom in general, is a different animal. If done properly, it requires three to four hours of your most precious summer days in front of a TV or at an endless parking lot in South Philadelphia with your wallet open because where else would spend $15 on a Miller Lite?
Many times, that shame and embarrassment is handed right back to you in the form of heartbreak and the recurring question of why do I keep doing this to myself. Sometimes, the answer is because you have nothing better to do. The answer is always because you love it, even if it doesn’t love you back. Ever. Or at least not since 2008.
Aaron Nola, who Phillies fans have a love-hate relationship with for many reasons, was just OK today. He wasn’t bad enough to be declared “the problem” by hot take artists nor good enough to be completely absolved from blame. Whatever.
It was the kind of no-hitter that honestly didn’t feel like a real no-hitter. Imagine Charlie Manuel trying to take out Roy Halladay after five innings?
Anyway, Tylor Megill, the second-coming of Jacob deGrom, only pitched five innings. The Mets bullpen: Drew “Not Spencer Howard” Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz combined to strikeout seven batters over four innings. Kudos to all of them. Like Phillies history, Mets history isn’t littered with happy memories.
It’s not like the Phillies looked completely flat. They forced nine full counts and walked six times. None of that mattered in the end. They will try to do better tomorrow.
Perhaps the most deflating aspect of the combined no-hitter was that –maybe — the Phillies’ best effort just wasn’t enough against these Mets. These Mets are funded by the richest man in baseball. The Phillies know better than anyone that throwing money at all of your problems is never the best solution. For these Mets, it all just might work out.
But let’s wait and see how it all unfolds in the end. Friday was just one game out of way too many.
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