OK, so after being up 3-1 in the NLCS, I was fairly confident about the Phillies’ chances of making it back to the Series. Still, though, I’m in a bit of a state of shock about how my boys are headed to the Fall Classic for the second consecutive year. Look, I’ve been a Phillies fan for 28 years now; this stuff’s unheard of. I remember how often this team disappointed me when I was younger. They’re more than making up for it in recent years, and I’m still adjusting to it.
These Phillies have stepped up their game in the postseason. They’ve wanted to win. The offense has shown up (holy 10-4 win tonight!). The bullpen’s gotten less shaky. Several of our starters have absolutely dominated. They’re playing as a team. Manuel’s taking risks with the pitching staff, and it’s paying off. They had a scary little slump toward the end of the season, but right now this team’s en fuego, and I couldn’t be more thrilled–or be more proud of them.
I’m glad to see some of the most important folks from the 2008 World Champions going back to the Series this year–Howard, Werth, Victorino, Lidge, Hamels, etc. But I’m really happy for some of the Phillies who weren’t on that team. Like Raul Ibanez, who has been with this team for the entire 2009 season, playing his *** off, not having a World Series ring like the rest of the guys on the team have. Now he has his chance to earn one. Like Cliff Lee, who wouldn’t have been anywhere near the postseason while he played with the Indians, but he’s become the Phillies’ ace pitcher. Like Pedro Martinez, who was the Mets’ trash and our treasure–he wanted a major league club to play with this year, and now he just happens to have one that’s on its way to the World Series. I’m happy for those new Philly team members who have been kickin’ *** and takin’ names ever since Philly acquired them. They’ve earned this chance.
During last night’s game, the commentators kept mentioning how the Phillies have an American League offense. I certainly hope so, because the Yankees and the Angels are both very talented teams, and whichever team the Phillies will have to face will certainly be a challenge. We’ll need every ounce of strength from our so-called American League offense…and every bit of strength from our pitchers, too.
Things you might dig:
Crazy Philadelphians being…well, kinda crazy, and very excited!