Shane Victorino stayed sizzling hot in Saturday's 5-1 victory over Seattle. Victorino, who delivered a superb go-ahead double and a two-run homer in the win, continues to be in the thick of things for the surging Phillies, who conclude their set with Seattle today. (US Presswire)
Beerleaguer: Is he an All-Star? I envision a scenario where Victorino is added to the final vote ballot, and if he stays hot, rides a wave of support to Chase Field. Last night's performance reinforced an idea that was adopted here last week, that Victorino has become the Phillies' best all-around player. He has all the right numbers to prove it: (.383 wOBA trails only Chase Utley's .391, but factor in defense and playing time and Victorino's 3.0 WAR leads the team by almost double Placido Polanco's 1.7). Victorino always seems to be in the middle of things, and at age 30, he's no longer a fastball hitter who flies by the seat of his pants. Displaying sharp focus, he tracked a Felix Hernandez curveball into his wheelhouse and laced it the opposite way for the game winner. It was the Phillies' one shot to jump on King Felix, and Victorino pounced. I thought it was one of his best at bats ever.
I'm really into Vic lately, and the "Bridge to Madson County" known as Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo. Opponents are hitting just .124 off Bastardo, who recorded huge strikeout with two down in the seventh before working a scoreless eighth. The left-hander rates 15th among MLB relievers with a 10.52 K/9. (I think Phuture Phillies coined "Bridge to Madson County," but I'm not sure).
Today: Another guy I'm into, Cole Hamels (9-2, 2.49) tries for the series win beginning at 4:10. It's been a terrific series. The 45-27 Phils have a six-game lead over the Braves and the best record in baseball. There've been lots of great storylines and emergent players. The Phils are on top, so enjoy it. Have a great Father's Day everyone.