This is why people hate the Yankees

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This season has been a banner year for humility deficit disorder on the part of Phillies fans, but let us not forget who invented the idea that their team is entitled to everything. It’s the Yankees, folks, and it’s passages like these from the tabloid columnists — which, I might add, are reflective of a wide swath of Yankees fandom because the tabloids are nothing if not aware of their readership — that epitomize it:

So
the Yankees are sitting pretty, and the way their own pitching has
suddenly fallen into place, they may not care about which team they play
next. If Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes re going to continue to back up CC Sabathia with brilliance, maybe we can all start gearing up for a classic World Series matchup with Roy Halladay and the Phillies.

However, I have a feeling the Yankees will be watching Tuesday night
and quietly rooting for the Rangers to lose so the next time they see
Lee it will be in Tampa in February when he’s wearing their pinstripes.

In the space of two short paragraphs the Giants, Braves, Rangers and Rays are dismissed as an afterthought in this postseason, and 29 other teams are dismissed as an afterthought in the free agent market.

Is it likely that Phillies will face the Yankees in the World Series? Smart money says so.  Is there a good chance that Cliff Lee signs with the Yankees?  Of course.  But no matter what the odds are, it’s pretty damn gauche, in my mind, to assume it like that, and it’s why so many people can’t stand the Yankees and, increasingly, the Phillies.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.