It's been a long couple of days for sports enthusiasts in the Delaware Valley. Sunday's final tilt between the Phils and Nats was rained out, and the good guys were off on Monday, leaving us with two full days worth of content directly from James van Riemsdyk's Twitter feed. It's my understanding JVR has an invitation on the table to join the site and cover Philly sports full time.
The Fightins are back in action tonight though, as they kick off the final leg of their current homestand against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Menta has an in-depth series preview on the way, but until then, a few notes to get everybody back into the swing of things.
By the way, the postponed game against Washington has been rescheduled to September 20, and becomes one-half of a day-night double-header. It remains to be seen whether the NL East is still in play (statistically speaking) at that time. [CSN]
Cole Hamels, who told reporters he had trouble getting loose during Friday's outing, had a precautionary MRI yesterday according to various outlets. The Phillies are insisting the All Star pitcher is just going through a "dead arm" phase, something every pitcher will deal with from time to time, but should we be worried anyway?
In yesterday's Inquirer, Bob Brookover pointed out the Phils could be on an October collision course with Arizona. The DBacks currently hold a 2.5 game-lead over the Giants in the NL West, and if the season ended today, they would indeed be on their way to Citizens Bank Park to begin the post-season. [Philly.com]
Philly leads have generally been safe this season, despite all the upheaval at the back end of the bullpen, but no lead will feel safe in this series. Not unlike our own '08 Phils, the Diamondbacks have been something of a comeback menace this season, picking up their 34th such victory of the season against the Mets last week. [Snakepit]
And in news that matters, Arizona Republic columnist Paola Boivin wants you to know that Charlie Sheen is impressed by what he's seen from the DBacks of late. That club must be an unstoppable force, like Sheen's run on Two and a Half Men. Wait... [AZ Central]
Finally, the good news after two days without baseball is the Phillies should be well-rested. John Finger mentioned the break helping a sore Cole Hamels in one of the links above, but it should help out a lot of players in that veteran clubhouse--especially after that brutal 10-game west coast road trip.
Now they should be ready to run the train on these upstart DBacks, who took two of three off the home team in their first series all the way back in April.