Did you hear that? It was a sigh of relief from previously worried Phillies fans. The postseason losing streak is over.
From across the country, it was easy to feel the excitement cultivating within Citizens Bank Park. Moments before the first pitch, butterflies infiltrated my stomach—thank goodness it was lunchtime in California or I would’ve missed this wonderfully nauseating moment. Like a giddy schoolgirl, I giggled when Mike Cameron struck out on a Cole Hamels changeup. An extra giggle snuck out when I let myself look into the pitchers eyes and was reminded that he was quite the looker.
This was going to be a good game. Will this be the game where we can put a tally mark under the win column?
Oh my, oh my, today’s Cole Hamels was the nasty-pitch throwing Cole Hamels and I loved it. As batter after batter proved unsuccessful against the ace, my stress level decreased. The young pitcher with the sexy high-leg kick made me feel at ease at a time when the memory of the three-game sweep at the hands the Colorado Rockies became vivid.
Now, that memory can be filed in the “(sorta) over it” file, along with previous Phillies failures, as well as the failures of my other favorite teams, the Oakland A’s (damn you Kirk Gibson of 1988!) and San Francisco Giants (ah, take your pick). Yes, that file is overflowing.
It’s time to add a different section file in the cabinet of memories—the one that makes us drink in celebration, not to drown our sorrows.
Today, we witnessed the rebirth of the playoff Phillies.
The Milwaukee Brewers are being labeled as “this year’s Phillies,” but I don’t find insult in that. The label actually makes me feel nervous.
The Brewers are the underdogs, just as the 2007 postseason Phillies were. The Brewers are also an unpredictable team that can easily sneak up on an unsuspecting team leaving them with their jaws agape.
Just look back at the ninth inning. Brad Lidge turned up the sound of my heartbeat to a deafening level. Beads of sweat began to form on my forehead. One mantra ran through my mind, “It’s not the 2005 Brad Lidge.”
He was “Lights Out” Lidge this afternoon, although the performance was more like a slow dim against the vacillating Brewers.
That thought triggers the fanatic anxiety, but now there is the recent memory of today’s game. Fans can take comfort know the Fightins’ were dominating.
In Game One of the NLDS series, the Phillies showed the passion fans seek and, in turn, boosted up the hopes and voices of every one of their fans.
The Philadelphia Phillies showed up to play. This is October baseball and the opportunity will not slip through their resolute fingers easily.
One win down, ten more to go.
Not-quite-baseball baseball notes... Funny fan observation: Two fans on the third base side had a special technique on how to get a foul ball while avoiding a fall and looking stupid—one guy leaned down onto the field to get the optimal reach for a ball while his friend stood behind him and held his legs. No guys, the "wheel-barrow" technique is not as bad as falling on the field. Really... High-socks watch: Carlos Ruiz was the only player (that I noticed) wearing my beloved high socks. Did I overlook someone?