Who IS This Guy?

27 Jul

If someone had asked you even a month ago who would have the lowest ERA on the Phillies pitching staff on July 27th, what would you say?  Cliff Lee at 2.91 would have been a good guess or Cole Hamels at 2.89.  But I probably would have gone with Roy Halladay who at 2.51 would have been a safe bet.  But no one, and I mean NO ONE, could have predicted that 23-year old rookie Vance Worley, (who??), would be the leader in the clubhouse with a 2.02 ERA and a 7-1 record.

Who IS this guy?

Since he last rejoined the rotation, Worley has only gone 5-0 with a 1.12 ERA in 7 starts and the Phillies have gone 7-0 in those starts.

Who IS this guy?

And last night, kicking off this big series against the San Francisco Giants,  Worley pitched his first career Major League complete game earning a 7-2 victory.  He pitched a 3-hitter, only giving up 2 earned runs against the World Champions.  Which leads me to ask yet again:

Who IS this guy?

Vance Richard Worley was born September 25, 1987 in Sacramento California.  His parents are Shirl and Scott Worley.  His mother is Chinese.  Shirl was born in Hong Kong and moved to the US as a child.   Worley attended and played baseball at McClatchy HIgh School in Sacramento where he was a three-year varsity letterman.  He played his college ball at Long Beach State University where he majored in criminal justice.

He was drafted in the 20th round (20th round!) of the 2005 MLB draft and later the third round of the 2008 MLB  June Amateur Draft by the Phillies.  He was not a particular stand-out in the minors with an overall 3.80 ERA.  So that’s his basic bio but it still really doesn’t answer the oft-stated question:

Who IS this guy?

Well, he’s a bespectacled 23-year old who sports a mohawk and seems quite untouched by his accomplishments and his growing celebrity.  They call him “The Vanimal” and he is quickly developing into a fan favorite with his own following and fan club.  According to his teammates he’s as cool as they come,  just taking things in stride, including talk of a potential trade before the deadline.  So how can you explain Worley‘s Hulk-like transformation from an average minor league pitcher to this Phillies phenom?  I mean:

Who IS this guy?

I have an idea.  Let’s go straight to the source.  Let’s let Vance Worley himself tell us how he keeps getting it done.  Surely he’s given this matter lots of thought.  “I’m not going out there thinking too much,” says the Vanimal.  “I’m just throwing the pitches I have and it’s working for me.”

OK.  So he’s not a deep thinker.  So for the last time (I promise) I query to anyone who will listen:

Who IS this guy?

Well, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that who knows and who cares?  It’s one of those unexplained and wonderful parts of sports.  The unknowns that come literally out of nowhere to pick a team up when they’re down, to get the big hit in the clutch or to pitch lights out against the World Champions.  That is exactly what Vance Worley has done for the Phillies.  And you know what?

Maybe we’re not supposed to think about it too much.

Maybe we’re jut supposed to sit back and enjoy it.


2 Responses to “Who IS This Guy?”

  1. geetie July 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    I think he’s got something in the overthinking department. At twenty- four he looks like he’s just enjoying life and if not now, when??? We’ll gladly go along for the ride.

  2. girlsbestphriend July 27, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    You got that right. Maybe there’s a lesson for all of us there!

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