*First off, I would like to introduce Cody Swartz as my co-Community Leader for the Philadelphia Phillies. Cody has mostly written about the Philadelphia Eagles, but has also written about the Phillies and shares the same knowledge with the Phillies as he does the Eagles. He has officially been promoted to the position as my co-CL. He will be a huge help with all of the activities that are planned to be introduced to our community this season, so look out for messages from Cody or myself in the near future for a community event.
Phew. I'm tired.
It all began on an early April night, when the freshly cut grass and the dusk skies welcomed the new baseball season.
For the Phillies, it was the beginning of what hoped to be a repeat season. Yet, by the late evening on Tuesday, the season had begun 0-2 for the world champions.
What appeared to be the third loss for the Phillies turned into the first victory after a 10-3 comeback the next day, resulting in a 12-11 win.
After an off day on Thursday, the Phillies travelled to Denver to take on the Colorado Rockies in a three-game series. The Phils took the loss in the first game of the series 10-3, moving their record to 1-3.
That was where the losses ended. The Phillies took the Saturday game by the score of 8-4, and followed that by winning the final game of the series 7-5.
Things were looking up. Brad Lidge saved two games, while pitching well in two other appearances, the bullpen had performed well in most situations, and the offense was certainly improving.
Plus, moving your record from 0-2 to 3-3 definitely boots your teams confidence.
Then Monday came, and it seemed like it never left.
It was just another manic Monday. I wish it were Sunday.
Because if it were still Sunday, we would have never had to experience Monday. We would have never had to lose Harry Kalas.
Harry Kalas. He was a legend. There's no need for me to go into detail about this legend. By now, we've all heard the hundreds—no, thousands—of stories and thoughts about Harry Kalas. We all know what happened, and we have all thought about what a great man, broadcaster, and fan he was.
There have been many terrific tributes to Harry Kalas and his life over the past 27 hours. All I'm here to say is that watching Phillies games will never be the same.
Harry Kalas' presence on a daily basis had been slowly lessening for a few years now, but Harry was still there. Now he isn't.
It will certainly take a lot of adjusting to get used to watching a ballgame.
The Phillies went on to play their game at 3:05, just under two hours after Kalas' passing. His presence, or lack thereof, was felt throughout the game, on the field and in the booth.
Most of the broadcast was spent talking about Kalas, and tributes such as Shane Victorino's point to the broadcast booth were seen throughout the ballgame.
By the end of the day, Brad Lidge notched the save as the Phillies improved to 4-3 in a 9-8 win.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Florida Marlins and the Atlanta Braves remain tied for the NL East lead with records of 5-1, while the Phillies sit in third place, two games back. The New York Mets are one game behind the Phillies at 3-4. Rounding out the division are the winless Washington Nationals, who are 0-7.
When you take a step back and examine the Phillies' first week of baseball, this could be considered one of the most hectic starts in their history.
A horrible 0-2 start, a seven-run comeback, a seven-run loss, then four straight wins, the fourth and final coming just hours after the death of the voice of the Phillies for the past 39 seasons.
Phew. It's tiring just to watch this team.
Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Pedro Feliz, and Jayson Werth are off to a hot start, while Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino are off to slower starts.
The starters have compiled an ERA of 9.00, while the bullpen has recorded an ERA of 3.67.
But more importantly, the Phillies are 4-3 and can look ahead to the rest of the season in memory of Harry Kalas.
Here's to another eventful season, and here's to Harry Kalas.