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Giants best the Phillies by getting Carlos Beltran, then shut them down on the field


Before everyone reading this reminds me of what happened with the Phillies’ offense Tuesday night, I just want to say that Barry Zito stinks.
Zito became the biggest thief in the history of Major League Baseball when he left the A’s to sign that $126 million dollarSomewhere,  Somewhere, Barry Zito's uncle Patrick Duffy is frowning. Photo: www.wherearetheynow.gophercentral.com contract with the Giants after the 2006 season.  I truly don’t understand how that man sleeps at night. And to make matters worse, Zito has a World Series ring that he did absolutely nothing to get. Somewhere, his uncle Patrick Duffy is frowning.
Anyways, that’s enough on Zito. He’s taken up enough space. The only reason he is even pitching is because Jonathan Sanchez is injured. Just as sure as I’m breathing, Zito will not be starting in the playoffs. Bank on that.
Which leads us to Matt Cain. Cain picked up right where he left off last October  by dominating the Phillies’ bats through eight innings, before turning it over to Mr. Pretentious himself, Brian Wilson.

I warned you guys about this possibility.

Ladies and gents, THIS is the type of pitching the Phillies are going to see come October. Every night.  I don’t care HOW many wins they have. And if Wednesday night was any indication and things don’t change, we won’t be watching the World Series again this year.

Unless of course, this Phillies offense can find a way to beat these guys.

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Make no mistake, overall the Phillies are better than the Giants, but it’s all about matchups. The Giants are like that ex-girlfriend who always manages to one-up you no matter how long you’re broken up. The are the Devils to our Flyers, the Celtics to our Sixers (back in the day when the Sixers were good.) Cain pitched a great game and I tip my cap to him. But come one guys, look alive!  You DO have baseball’s best record.

Even though you’re only 16-18 against winning teams........

And to further rub this victory in, the Giants went out and got Carlos Beltran prior to Wednesday’s game. Remember that Ray Rhodes speech he gave the Eagles when they played Dallas back in December of 1995?.............Carlos Beltran could actually be a pretty logical fit for the Phillies in 2011. He is 34 and not the player he was when he singed that contract for the Mets in 2005, but Beltran seems to be over his knee problems that have plagued him the last two seasons. Oddly enough, he is now playing right field.

What do you think Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee were thinking when that deal was announced? Both guys took less money (although let’s be honest, they aren’t exactly starving) to come here and win. Halladay himself said he’d sell the whole farm  to make a deal like that happen.

The Angel Gabriel himself could come down and tell me Beltran isn’t the answer, but I will argue this until I drop. There is no other difference maker in baseball that could fit into this lineup right now better than Beltran. Don’t feel bad though, we’ll see Beltran Thursday night. He’s flying into Philly, just for his debut. And you’ll see him  four more times next week in San Francisco. And yes, he KILLS Phillies pitchers by the way.........

To add insult to injury, there’s Domonic Brown. A knowledgeable friend of mine told me the Phils don’t need a right fielder and that the Phils needed to give him time.

I told him he was stone cold nuts.

On the night the Giants get Beltran, Brown strikes out with a man on base, and absolutely butchers that line drive in the seventh inning which led to the game-winning run. And don’t tell me he later got an RBI so it’s all good, he simply made it a one-run defecit, where it should have tied the game. To be fair, Beltran could have struck out too in that situation in the fourth, but weaknesses are magnified when a team like the Giants has your number.

I thought earlier in the year the team had to bring up Brown to give him experience. However, the stakes are unbelievably higher at this moment. Now is not the time to keep leaving him out there. You’re trying to win a World Series, you don't have time to teach, and it’s obvious that Brown needs a lot more seasoning. If the Phils don’t win the division, they run the risk of playing the Braves or Giants at their home field.

Good luck with that.

If anything, this game should speak volumes for Ruben Amaro, because a possible key to the Phillies' playoff chances just got away today.

Then there’s Cole Hamels. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been extremely critical of Hamels’ hissy fits over the years, but now I’m about to snap right along with him. He’s been the best pitcher this year for this team (yes, better than Halladay), and if he screws up ONCE, he’s cooked and he knows it because this team simply can’t hit the Giants’ starters. I would not at all be surprised at Hamels if he called out the whole team. The haven’t showed up for him offensively in two years.

The bottom line here is that the Phillies just can’t hit the Giants. They can’t and there’s no way of getting around it. If I were a starting position player on the Phillies, I would LIVE in that video room to see how in the world they continue to keep getting me out.

Believe me, I want to see the Phillies win more than anybody. But this game put up some red flags, and some of the Phillies’ weaknesses were exposed.

Contrary to the picture I just painted, the sky isn’t falling and they are still a good team, but I stand by every word I said.  I don’t see this magically changing (whether the Phils got Beltran or not) unless they learn to hit the Giants starters.


Joe Vallee is a lifelong Phillies fan and former Phillies batboy. Joe has claimed to have seen about 98% of every Phillies game since the early 1980's.

Contact Joe at Jvallee@philly2philly.com

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