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The Phillies Finally Had Some Fun

9:28 AM EDT on June 6, 2023

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

For two months now, I have sighed on my couch while watching the Philadelphia Phillies make an obscene number of base-running errors, bad pitches, and fielding errors. I have watched them give up winning runs in the ninth, and homers in the first inning. Ground balls have trickled between their legs. Pop flies have been lost in the lights. Long line drives have hit the heel of a glove and bounced out. It has been truly hysterical.

A lesser fan might watch such a team and think that their trip to the World Series last year was a fluke. They might have thought that this was a team composed of only spares who know nothing. They might imagine that perhaps the season was over already because the team was garbage. But the thing about sports is that success requires more than just talent. It requires luck, and chance, and magic. In other words, the vibes have to be just right, or everything will fall apart. And a truly great team knows how to cultivate a vibe strong enough to overrule any failures of talent or skill or speed they might have.

All May I said this: the Philadelphia Phillies were simply waiting for the vibes to click and then they would be fine. (We will not ever speak of the fact that I spent all of April saying the vibes would correct in May. We will also not be revisiting this blog at a later date unless ... as will absolutely happen ... the Phillies win 70 percent of their games in June.) Now it's June, and for at least a few hours on Monday night, the vibes clicked.

The Phillies scored eight runs on 11 hits. Aaron Nola struck out 12 batters and carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Trea Turner (after being asleep for two months) had four hits, two of them homers, and an excellent play in shallow right field. J.T. Realmuto stole third!

It was about as exciting as a Monday night baseball game in June can be. Two weeks ago, a couple of girls in my section heckled Turner, yelling, "Earn your paycheck!! Earn our love!!" Last night, he finally did! This was his first four-hit game with the Phillies, and one of his homers was hit so hard that it left his teammates giggling in the dugout.

The thing about a win in which the home team scores a bunch of runs, hits multiple homers, and carries a no-hitter late into the game is that it can make everyone, whether they are playing or watching, happy in a kind of deranged and magical way. Half the fun of watching Monday's game came from being able to see the Phillies themselves have some fun.

This is what it looks like when the vibes are good:

After the game, Brandon Marsh (eternally the wet guy on the team) and Bryson Stott came out with the little cups of celebratory water to dump on Turner. It's a good bit.

Are the Phillies still 7.5 games back in the NL East, and four games under .500? Sure, what's it to you? That's irrelevant! Because the vibes are back, baby! They're never gonna lose again! Or maybe, at a bare minimum, they'll just stop committing egregious base-running errors all the fucking time, which would also be good.

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