Phillies Notes: Cliff Lee and Phillippe Aumont Help Phillies Win
Sometimes, baseball’s day-to-day can be a grind.
Not just for the players, for the media, too.
So that’s why when you come across something as profoundly, unabatedly cool as what happened in the Phillies 3-1 win over the Marlins Tuesday, even if it’s useless outside of its immediate “Hey, Check This Out!” value, you run with it.
Today, in what may prove to be just below the highest height in recent Philadelphia (everywhere?) sports history, was possible because of a mistake.
Not of the Butterfly Effect, “This Happens Then That Happens” sort of accidental awesomeness.
No, no — we’re talking an unmitigated oops.
That’s how the Cliff Lee-for-Phillippe Aumont and Co. trade of 2009 has been regarded. Yes, losing Lee the first time was costly; not only did the Phillies ship a one-year-ago Cy Young winner for below market value nobodies (at the time), but twice they had to dip into their farm system later (Roy Oswalt, to replace Lee in the rotation; and Hunter Pence, to add the power to their lineup they should have done with Lee in the first place) to compensate.
Nothing’s changing that.
Still, when it plays out how it did Wednesday, with Aumont bridging Lee’s seven innings of three-hit ball (one unearned run) to the 34th save of the season for someone who was himself considered something of an iffy move, Jonathan Papelbon, it’s just you stop and appreciate.
Like rubbernecking, minus the gridlock.
“Oh, he’s good,” Lee said of Aumont, who seems to be the obvious pick for set-up guy, even if it’s not official yet. “Obviously he’s a big guy who throws really hard, a pretty good curveball. I don’t know what more to say. He’s done everything that has been asked of him so far, so I expect him to be a huge part of our bullpen for several years to come. He’s got unbelievable stuff.”
“I didn’t think about that,” Aumont said of Wednesday’s quirk. “It may have been the first time.” It wasn’t; the two went back-to-back on Friday, though, considering today’s win marked the first time the team cracked .500 and 3.5 games in the Wild Card hunt since the first week of June, and marked its longest win streak since August of a record-setting 102-win season, it’s safe to say today’s instance had a little more significance.
“I just wanted to go out there and do some of the things I’ve been doing.”
What’s he been doing? Fanning. Waving. Sitting.
Since Aumont’s debut, he’s allowed just one run in nine outings, for a 1.08 ERA. Over the same span, the Phillies also have the best team eighth inning ERA (1.00) according to the Elias Sports Bureau, which, considering all but one of Aumont’s times out have come in that set-up spot, you can credit to him.
If this thing turns out the way it’s hoped (expected?) to, though, something’s telling me winning will do its fair share of whiting out in this town, all around.