The Evster: Are you ready for co-ed beer league softball or WHAT?!?

The Evster: Are you ready for co-ed beer league softball or WHAT?!?

Uncle Ivan's Clam Shack, 6th place, Manayunk Sport & Social League (2002)

Before Hurricane Bing Bong hit Philadelphia this week and flooded baseball diamonds all over the area, co-ed softball liggs were prepping for opening day. Lucky for you, and the fact that you have NO IDEA where your cleats are, you've got another week to get ready before pulling every muscle in your dumb, fat body.

First things first, you need to find your glove. It could be in your trunk, it could be in your closet, it could literally be in your goddamn refrigerator. Seriously, when are you gonna clean that thing out? You have, no lie, probably 13 bottles of bleu cheese dressing jammed up in there. Just make sure that before next week's game, you give yourself an extra 30 to 4,000 minutes in the morning to find that jawn. You should also probably stretch before you go to work, because there's no way you're gonna get down and do butterflies in the wet, glass-covered grass. Take it from me, there is nothing worse than playing right field with a dripping wet ass. That comes from experience. I've had a dripping wet ass every day for the last 30 years of my life. I do however know where my baseball glove is... that's not true. That is simply not true.

Next, you need to play a new position. No more of this shortstop nonsense. Nobody's impressed by a guy who stops grounders with his eyeball. Have you seen some of these local infields? They're like a whack-a-mole board. I once tried to turn a double play at a middle school in Roxborough and got my foot stuck in a goddamn sink hole. During the 4th inning, Elmer Fudd stuck his big, bald head out and asked if I'd seen any wabbits. OMG that was the stupidest joke I've ever written. JK I kinda liked it!

Chicks past the age of 24 don't care how much range you have going to your left. That's high school stuff. Now they just want a dude who wears age-appropriate clothing and is not still on his parents' T-Mobile plan. That's why I play left field. By far the laziest/dopest position in the game.

This person is married to an actual woman.

No one bothers you in left. You just stand out there with your hat cocked to the side, feeling the breeze on your neck while skin cancer grows on top of your ears. And there's no better place to patrol left field than the Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park. It's an incredible atmosphere at the Plat: marijuana smoke wafting in the air, stray dogs diggin' into dumpsters, dudes riding four-wheelers who are probably no older than 16 months old. My dream in life is to be just chillin' out in left, dancing to the beats from the parking lot, and then catch a fly ball whilst dancing. Like, not even missing a step, just shimmying up to the ball and catching it like a true asshole. My other dream in life is to go to a fraternity party and have someone be like, "Yo, the DJ didn't show up! Are there any turntablists in the house?!" And then I lower my sunglasses and whip off my belt and say, "Right here, Rico," and then spend the rest of the night blowing people's balls off by doing that lean to the side/behind the back record scratch move while all the honeys chant, "Evvvvvvvsssttteerrrrrrr!!! Evvvvvvsssttteerrrr!!!" My third dream in life is to eat a tuna melt without filling my pants with shit.

But enough about me, you're gonna do most of your damage AT THE PLATE, so you need to get one of those bonkers ceramic bats. I don't even know if that's what they're called, "ceramic bats," I just mean the ones that are white, and super light and make a popping noise when you connect. I have never seen a ball go further than when someone uses one of those bats. It's unfair. It's totally unfair. I'm sitting here twirling around an Easton 32/28, while other dudes are jackin' fools with a piece of fine handcrafted pottery.

Lastly, let's talk about those sweatpants. If you wanna wear 'em, that's fine, go for it. I fully support you wanting to show off your dork in any and all social environments. Growing up, no one ever wanted to show off their dorks. But once you turn 30, and fully recognize that women like to be told what to do in the bedroom, pressing your dork against the front of your pants becomes a pre-requisite. I'm not sure what it's a pre-requisite for, but it's definitely a pre-requisite. Regardless, when you wear sweatpants you feel more inclined to slide into home plate. And that's just wrong. Let me tell you something. Let me tell you something right now. Don't ever, ever, ever slide into the rocky dirt by home plate. It's not worth it. Nothing is worth that. Some of the most disgusting, puss cover wounds have been created by idiots who tried to dip under a catcher's tag. No one cares if you win the stupid game for your stupid team. And no one's gonna help you dress that wound the next day. Or next week. Your leg might be scarred 4 LYFE. My Uncle Ivan still walks with a limp because he tried to stretch a double into a triple. Also he has chronic hemorrhoids.

Play ball, everybody.

Or don't.

Doesn't matter to me. I'm going to Dick's to buy new sweatpants.

Follow The Evster @TVMWW.

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Tonight's lineup: Odubel Herrera leads off for first time in 84 games

Tonight's lineup: Odubel Herrera leads off for first time in 84 games

A day after going 0 for 5 with five strikeouts, Odubel Herrera is leading off for the Phillies in their series opener Friday night against the Reds (see game notes).

It's the first time Herrera is leading off since last Aug. 19, a span of 84 games.

Cesar Hernandez gets the night off, with Andres Blanco batting second and playing second.

Maikel Franco is back in the six-hole after going 1 for 5 with two strikeouts in the cleanup spot Thursday. Tommy Joseph bats fourth and Michael Saunders fifth.

Cameron Rupp, who walked three times in Thursday's win over the Rockies, catches Aaron Nola and bats seventh.

1. Odubel Herrera, CF
2. Andres Blanco, 2B
3. Aaron Altherr, LF
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Michael Saunders, RF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Cameron Rupp, C
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Aaron Nola, P

Phillies-Reds 5 things: Aaron Nola looks to build on extremely impressive return from DL

Phillies-Reds 5 things: Aaron Nola looks to build on extremely impressive return from DL

Phillies (16-29) vs. Reds (22-24)
7:05 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

Following their first win in a week, the Phillies open a new series this weekend against a beatable team in the Cincinnati Reds, who are 3-9 in their last 12 games and 1-7 in their last eight road games.

Let's have ourselves a look-see:

1. Nola's turn
Aaron Nola is on the mound tonight for his second start since a month-long DL stint. He was extremely impressive his last time out, allowing one run on four hits over seven innings in Pittsburgh.

Nola's fastball reached as high as 95.5 mph against the Pirates, which is notable because he threw only two pitches faster than 94 mph all of last season. His velocity was up before the lower back strain and it's a great sign that the elbow injury which ended his 2016 season is truly in the past.

In Pittsburgh, Nola (2-1, 3.52) threw 19 of 27 first-pitch strikes. He got 11 outs on the first three pitches of at-bats. 

He's faced the Reds twice in his career and dominated them both times, allowing two earned runs in 14 innings with one walk and 17 strikeouts.

Current Reds have gone 7 fo 39 (.179) against him with just two extra-base hits. Joey Votto is 0 for 5.

2. What to do with Odubel
Pete Mackanin has an interesting decision to make this weekend with slumping Odubel Herrera, who on Thursday became the first player in the majors this season to go 0 for 5 with five strikeouts in a game.

Herrera is down to .226 on the season with a .275 on-base percentage. In May, he's hit .194 with one walk and 28 strikeouts.

Mackanin could bench Herrera like he did with Maikel Franco for two games earlier this week. It would send a message to the player that poor at-bats and wild swings have consequences. And, quite frankly, sitting Herrera for a day or two might give the Phillies a better chance to win.

The issue, of course, is that there's a thin line between giving a player a chance to clear his head and ridding him of opportunities to get back on track.

Plus, the Phillies don't have great options in replacing Herrera in the lineup. They have a four-man bench at the moment and the only options would be putting Ty Kelly or Brock Stassi in left field and moving Aaron Altherr to center.

(Update: Mackanin is taking the opposite approach with Herrera, leading him off Friday night.)

Herrera just has not been himself this season and it's troubling. At this point last season, Herrera was hitting .327 with a .901 OPS. He's been an undisciplined hitter in 2017 and when you have two of them in the middle of the lineup in Herrera and Franco, it makes things really easy on pitchers at times.

Herrera started the year hot, hitting in his first eight games. Since then, he's hit .203/.239/.324 in 155 plate appearances with six walks and 42 K's.

3. Tommy time
Tommy Joseph has been one of the very best hitters in baseball this month, batting .329/.400/.671 with six doubles, six homers and 15 RBIs in 22 games.

He's 148 games and 499 plate appearances into his major-league career and has hit .257 with 23 doubles, 28 homers, 69 RBIs and an .804 OPS. That's about 10 points higher than the league average OPS from first basemen over that span.

Had Joseph's April slump continued into May, prospect Rhys Hoskins might have already been called up. But Joseph has done enough so far to hold off Hoskins, who appears to have more upside because of his combination of power and plate selection.

Controlling the strike zone is the next step for Joseph. He has a .311 OBP so far with 33 walks and 112 strikeouts as a Phillie.

But over the last two seasons, he's been one of the few Phils who's taken advantage of this ballpark. Joseph's hit .276 with an .844 OPS at Citizens Bank Park compared to .240 with a .769 OPS on the road.

4. Scouting the Reds
The Phillies face 29-year-old Reds right-hander Tim Adleman (2-2, 6.19).

You look at the ERA and think, OK, maybe the Phillies' bats will wake up tonight. But keep in mind that the Rockies' four starting pitchers this week entered the series with a combined 5.27 ERA and the Phillies scored three runs against them in 27 innings.

There's nothing special about the 6-foot-5 Adleman. He throws his fastball and sinker in the 88 to 91 mph range with a mid-80s changeup and mid-70s curveball. His opponents have hit .300 against his fastball and have eight extra-base hits with a .290 batting average against his changeup.

In six starts this season, Adleman's yet to go deeper than six innings. The Phils faced him last season and scored three runs in five innings. Cesar Hernandez went 2 for 2 with a walk and Franco went 1 for 3 with a double.

As for Cincinnati's offense, Votto is obviously the hitter you worry about most. He's hit .299/.422/.591 this season with 12 doubles, 12 homers, 38 RBIs, 35 walks and 24 strikeouts. A typical Votto season.

Shortstop Zack Cozart has been surprisingly hot these first two months, hitting .340 with 20 extra-base hits, 22 walks and 29 strikeouts. It's most surprising to see him walking this much because he never has. He's 15 walks away from matching his career high.

Leftfielder Adam Duvall has killed the Phillies over the last two seasons. He went 5 for 11 with two doubles and a homer in the season-opening series in Cincy and went 8 for 18 with four doubles against them last season.

5. This and that
• Over the last seven games, the Phillies' bullpen has allowed just two earned runs in 22⅔ innings.

• Howie Kendrick started at third base for Lehigh Valley during his rehab assignment Thursday. He was hit by two pitches and removed from the game.  

• Reds closer Raisel Iglesias is one of the most underrated relievers in baseball. He's 8 for 8 in save chances this season with a 0.73 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. He's struck out 28 and allowed just one home run in 24⅔ innings. His ability to go multiple innings is what makes him stand out — he's Andrew Miller-like in that regard. Iglesias has pitched more than one inning in 7 of his 19 appearances.