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Giants can’t beat the Phillies, so they bean the Phillies

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It was only a matter of time until the Phillies and Giants’ bad blood finally came to a head. And believe it or not, it had nothing to do with Chase Utley or Jonathan Sanchez.Photo: Ben Margot / APIt didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Ramon Ramirez’s fastball drilling Shane Victorino in the back during the top of the sixth inning was intentional. Photo: Ben Margot/AP
 
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Ramon Ramirez’s fastball drilling Shane Victorino in the back during the top of the sixth inning was intentional.

Now call me crazy, but personally, I think the best thing that could have happened to the Phillies was losing two out of three to the World Champions on their home field the other week. This Phillies team plays with a quiet intensity and doesn’t talk a whole lot of trash. But to a man, they knew they got schooled last week, and they weren’t going to get crapped on again by the Giants.  

Believe it or not, this is not the same Phillies team who the Giants faced last week. The addition of Hunter Pence  has breathed new life into this team. Not that they were complacent before, but Pence has been in the middle of everything since his arrival (including the brawl Friday night). Ryan Howard is actually seeing fastballs again, and the Phils are 7-0 since Pence has been patrolling right field.

Sure, it’s not Tim Lincecum or Matt Cain the Phils have faced yet, but the Giants obviously cared enough that they were getting the crap knocked out of them to where they took their frustrations out on Victorino.

There’s nothing worse than somebody who justifies their unacceptable actions, and Ramirez walking after Victorino proves that. This is like getting mad at the police because they caught you breaking the law. If anything, I sometimes get mad that the Phillies don’t retaliate (see Jon Lannan vs Chase Utley). Not if they are getting their brains beat in, more like when somebody like Adam Dunn bowls over your catcher when their team is winning by double digits, or if one of our stars gets deliberately beaned. Were the Giants particularly happy that Jimmy Rollins stole second base with a six-run lead? Probably not, but there's not much talk about it so far.

Then there’s Eli Whiteside, who only has a job in the major leagues because Buster Posey is out for the season. So Whiteside, who is barely hitting over the Mendoza line, decides to tackle Placido Polanco, who has a bulging disc in his back and ranks near the bottom of Phillies players least likely to instigate a bench clearing brawl. There was no rhyme or reason to tackle Polanco, and Whiteside should be suspended. Don’t be surprised if Victorino does too, though his suspension should be less.

The Giants have been sinking. Their lead in the NL West is now down to just a half a game. Lincecum, Cain, and Ryan Vogelsong are their only three consistent starters. Don’t get me wrong, I’d take them without a problem on my team if the Phillies didn’t have their horses. But these guys are going to have to pitch a shutout every time they take the mound because the Giants’ offense is worse than last year’s team. If they think that beaning the Phillies is going to send some kind of message, forget it. This isn’t 2010 anymore. The Phillies are clearly the superior team at this stage of the season.  As far as the playoffs go, that could be a whole other story, but the Phightins have been playing out of their minds. One can only hope that they aren’t peaking at the wrong time. As we know, baseball these days is all about getting hot at the right time.

Don’t expect this incident to get swept under the rug, either. The Phillies will wait for just the ‘right time’ to get even.


Contact Joe Vallee at Jvallee@philly2philly.com

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