NLCS Game 2: At Any Given Moment, A Phillies Win Can Be Bittersweet
At any given moment, the path we seem to be on can change.
In the first inning of the NLCS, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Brett Myers threw a pitch behind L.A. Dodgers’ Manny Ramirez and later claim the ball slipped. He went on the strike Ramirez out, but the wild pitch made many question his ability to repeat his last performance. In the top of he second inning, Myers gave up a couple hits and one run scored. He continued giving up runs in the following two innings and by the time the fourth inning was over, the Dodgers scored five runs off of Myers.
With the spotty offense the Phils have been providing, allowing the Dodgers to score five runs would be disheartening. However, Philadelphia was able to score four runs in each of the second and third innings. Those two innings were all they needed to be victorious in Game Two.
Just enough hitting for a few games, a parade of hits in the next.
At any given moment, we can prove people wrong.
The Phillies were notorious for using the long ball to score runs. Games broadcasted on national television always remind viewers that Citizens Bank Park is a “hitter-friendly” ballpark. During the 2008 regular season, they led the league with 214 team home runs.
Today, Philadelphia scored all of their runs without going yard once.
Yup, the Phils don’t always muscle their way into the win column.
At any given moment, history can teach us nothing.
Brett Myers is a pitcher for the National League. In general, pitchers aren’t the greatest hitters. In the regular season, Myers had a batting average of .069, going 4-for-58.
In Game Two, Myers went 3-for-3, scoring two runs with three RBI.
Hey, if you’re not pitching your best, why not make up for it by becoming a temporary offensive machine?
At any given moment, humans may unexpectedly be the passengers on an emotional teeter-totter.
Friday morning, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel learned that his mother, June, passed away. Instead of taking the day off to mourn, Manuel decided to go to the ballpark and manage his team. Players and coaches from both teams offered kind words, hugs, and looks of compassion.
With a score of 8-5, Philadelphia defeated Los Angeles and went up 2-0 in the series. The joy of winning suddenly blended in with the pain of loss.
High off of a great game, Shane Victorino walked off the field, running into his father in a tunnel leading to the clubhouse. The center fielder couldn’t hold back the tears when he learned that his grandmother also passed earlier in the day. His father chose to wait until after the game to let Victorino know because he didn't want the news to have an effect on his game.
However, he revealed his grandmother may have helped him during the game. In his blog, Victorino wrote, “Maybe my grandmom helped me make that catch, and maybe Charlie's mom helped, too. I believe that.”
There are moments when these ballplayers seem superhuman, then we realize, in many ways, they’re just like us.
At any given moment, baseball is more than just a game; it’s a trusted companion.
While discussion Manuel’s decision to manage the game, Dodgers manager Joe Torre remarked, “It sometimes gives you a place to hide where you're so busy, that it's going to be a lot easier. It was a lot easier probably during the game than it is now, when he goes home."
Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona stated, "I would think that the couple of hours during the game were probably a little bit of a chance for him to get away from reality.”
For many, baseball is a real entity that provides unmatched comfort and stability when the world surrounding the park is chaotic. Manuel chose to stay with the team for Game Two and will travel to LA. Victorino said he will attend his grandmother’s funeral, but will not miss any games.
The women knew and felt the importance of baseball in the two men’s lives. They were there to support them and continue to do so.
Victorino expressed it best when he wrote, “They're watching over us, they're going to help us win. I really believe that.”
Five games down, six to go.
Non-baseball Baseball Notes
High-socks watch: It seems Carlos Ruiz is the only player who shares my preference for the old-school uniform.
Always there with a smile: As Victorino made that dazzling catch against the wall, he had the same charming smile he always flashes. Seeing the joy he felt at that moment made me smile.
Commentators, huh?: After Victorino’s catch, one of the commentators mentioned he was 5’7 (he’s listed as 5’9) and the smallest person on the team (Jimmy Rollins is shorter by an inch). Where are they getting these stats?
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