Matt Stairs taking Jonathan Broxton into the night. Jimmy Rollins homering to lead off Game 5 of the NLCS. Discuss your 2008 premonitions here.
Yesterday, I browsed the comments section of another Phillies blog and they were complaining about the constant negativity on Beerleaguer. They liked the articles, but hated the whining. I feel partially responsible for this; the aftermath of a World Series victory is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to set a positive tone and reflect on some rather wonderful moments. I’m guilty of dropping the ball; who needs another post on how our third basemen can’t hit?
We’re running out of time before pitchers and catchers report, so let’s do this. One of my favorite games was the Friday, Sept. 26 throttling of the visiting Nationals in the first game of the season’s final series. My wife made plans for us to attend an apartment party with some of her artist friends, none of whom are baseball fans, and none of whom would understand the magnitude of the situation. As you can imagine, this was causing a great deal of stress. The playoff race was down to the wire and my only way to check scores was through an outdated cell phone.
I was instructed to meet my wife in the parking lot of her place of employment at 7 p.m., then we’d go to the party together. I’d miss everything.
But then fortune intervened. My wife called and said she was running very, very late, which meant I got to listen to the beginning of the game in the car. “Take your time,” I said. “No rush. Safety first, pumpkin.”
So I’m thinking “Okay, Phils. Time to send Collin Balester a message before I need to listen to a 30 minute discussion on the history of Helvetica.” The Phillies answered. Powered by a three-run first-inning homer by Ryan Howard, the Phillies ambushed Balester with seven runs in two innings en route to an 8-4 win. Howard drove in four runs on the night. It was, in my opinion, the highlight of his season, and his three-run homer is my entry into the “I called it” moment of 2008.
Meanwhile in Queens, the Marlins jumped Mike Pelfrey and the Mets early and eased to a 6-1 win, setting up the Saturday clincher.
As it turned out, my wife’s friends were so wrapped up in gossip that I was able to slip away and watch much of the game on television. What a great night. What a great team.