Aaron Fultz will make his first career start this afternoon in a game that will bridge the gap quickly, and painfully, to Monday’s off day. Then what?
Phillies hinted today’s start would be filled by a reliever earlier in the week, the byproduct of injuries, rainouts, exhausted roster moves, and yes, probably a little admission the season is hopelessly slipping away.
The only silver lining is the series has occurred in another country during a holiday weekend. Still, let the record show they have lost 16-of-20, including big, national broadcast debacles. And that's what many of these loses are: debacles.
The fact Fultz makes his first career start today, after seven seasons as a B-list reliever, indicates just how low things are. You never want to see something like this. For years, Phillies fans could glance at the out-of-town probables, see a pitching matchup like this, and be glad not to be a Royals fan.
Fultz vs. Burnett.
“It’s a shame what happened to the Phillies,” some will say.
Here on Beerleaguer, there will be those who wonder why Ryan Franklin, who hasn’t pitched since June 28, isn’t starting instead of Fultz, and if not Franklin, why not a prospect. Does it matter? Like Fultz, Franklin is only a reliever anymore. The outcome of this game is entirely in the hands of Burnett, who needs only to pitch average baseball to hold a bad Phillies offense in check. As for the prospect, it's probably not worth another 40-man roster shuffle, let alone the cost of a plane ticket to Canada.
Ok. That’s too much analysis for this formality of a game. I should have let my wife write this post, in the spirit of first-timers.