Philly Sports Live

Week 16 in Review

Two games into the second half of the 2013 season, the Phillies find themselves in a familiar spot. They’ve managed to win their last four series, though most all of those series easily could have been sweeps. Still, for a team fighting for position in the National League East, you have to appreciate what they’ve been able to do the last two weeks of baseball.

That includes standing their ground at the midsummer classic All-Star game in New York this past week. Ignoring the code of an all-star game, meaning to put rivalries aside and enjoy the national pastime in all its glory, they chose to boo the two Phillie representatives.

Take for example last night at Fenway Park. The biggest rivalry in all of sports perhaps, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Bitter as these rivals are, when future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera took to the field, the Boston faithful stood up and cheered him on his illustrious career and all the good he’s done for the game.

Take note Met fans, if you can write of course!

Tuesday night, Domonic Brown tipped his cap and smiled, basically laughing off the booing. Cliff Lee did something that most everyone would like to do. Something that spoke for the fans of Philadelphia.

As the boos rained down, he stood firm with a look on his face that screamed back to the fans of New York everything they yelled at him…”right back at you”. This is why Phillies fans love and will always love Cliff Lee. He gets it, he’s passionate about it and he understands what this team means to the city.

He will take the mound today in search of his 11th win of the season, and rest assured he will remember what happened last Tuesday with every pitch he throws.

Of course, the first series post all-star break for the Fightin Phils is unfolding at where else? Citi Field. And similar to the past four series, the Phillies took game one thanks in large part to 15 hits and 13 runs. They led 11-0 at one point, clobbering their arch rivals and silencing the sparse crowd.

Yesterday they struggled with runners in scoring position, finishing 1-10 on the day and leaving 10 men on base. Cole Hamels walked two men in the first inning and allowed three runs. He settled down after that, but his team could not draw even.

That brings us to today, and a game just like the last four rubber matches the Phillies have played. They will be coming off a loss, but with a chance to still win the series and hold their division ground, if not gain some.

But it will be no easy task.

The Mets will counter with Matt Harvey, who comes into today with an earned run average of 2.35. He has flirted with a no-hitter twice already this season, something he is certain to accomplish before his career is finished. He will be trying for his eighth win of the year.

It does not get any easier from here.

After winning series against Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Washington & the Chicago White Sox, the Phillies will head to St. Louis from here and then play three next weekend in Detroit.  Credit them for the last two weeks they’ve played, but 162 games mean never getting to feel confident.

From here on out, every game is of great significance to this team.

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