The scenario couldn't have been scripted any better even if it were a movie.
The Phillies are up 3 games to 1 against the Rays in the World Series. They have a chance to clinch it at home, in front of all those championship-starved fans who have been waiting 28 years for this. And we have the ace of our staff, Cole Hamels, pitching... a man who has not lost a single game in the postseason.
That's it. Lights out. Game over. End of story. We win.
Except in this city nothing is ever that easy. It started drizzling before the first pitch was even thrown, and it only got worse after that. The infield was a mess, the ball was slippery, and the temperature was cold. Not the kind of night one envisions when they think of baseball. The game probably should have been suspended long before the sixth inning, but this is the World Series, and they had to make every effort to continue playing. After all, they have advertising revenue and TV ratings to think about.
After Sunday night's homer-fest, the Phils seemed to be back to their usual postseason play on Monday: leaving runners on base, failing to play small ball. Yes they scored two runs early, but it could have been much more. And they had several more chances throughout the game that they failed to capitalize on. Because of this, the Rays managed to tie the game up. Was it because of the weather? The officiating? Poor play? That, my dear readers, is for you to decide.
Here's all I know: it is now Tuesday in Philadelphia and it is snowing. On October freakin' 28th. Big, thick, heavy snow that sticks to everything it touches. The game will certainly have to be delayed for at least one more day. One more day of excruciating waiting. Do the baseball gods hate Philadelphia? Were we too confident that this was finally our year? Did we commit the cosmic sin of daring to dream big? We'll have to wait till Wednesday night to find out.
If the Phillies win game 5, and thus the World Series, this will have all just been a minor hiccup. A small speed-bump on the road to victory. A funny story we will tell our grandchildren. But if the Phillies lose, and the series shifts back to Tampa Bay... well, I shudder to think about it. I hesitate to believe in omens, but this snow storm is about as big an omen as you can get. Let's win it and put all this bad mojo behind us.
Nothing is ever easy in this city.