October 27, 2008
This is it, boys and squirrels. All those years of Philadelphia fans’ grief and despair, those 26 seasons ending just shy of October or, in 1993, left just shy of glory “” they all sit on the brink of catharsis.
The Phillies, our beloved Phillies, need one game to win the World Series. And, with a commanding 3-1 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays, they have three games to do it “” starting tonight.
If you missed the two games this weekend, goodness gracious. Game 3 was a nail-biter in the truest sense, all the way up to the bases-loaded, two-out, bottom-of-the-ninth, game-winning hit by Carlos Ruiz. I mean, c’mon “” that’s the stuff that Little League dreams are made of. With that, the Phils took a 2-1 lead in the series and us Philadelphians took to the streets to celebrate. Honestly, you could hear the horns honking until 6 a.m.
And then in Game 4, the Phils opened up the offensive floodgates. Jimmy Rollins went 3-5. Jayson Werth homered. Ryan Howard homered “” twice. Even pitcher Joe Blanton homered. After the slugging barrage was complete, the final score was 10-2.
Which brings us to now. We have a two-game cushion, some white-hot bats in our arsenal and Cole Hamels ready to take the mound at 8:30 tonight. The ball is clearly in Philadelphia’s court. Loyal fans, the time is nigh.
The big question is, where are you going to be when the first pitch is thrown? As for me, I’m thinking South Philadelphia. Somewhere where the TV is crisp, the local beer is flowin’ and the eyes are on the prize.
And when the final out is recorded, get ready to paint the town Phillies Red. If you’re like me, you’ve been ready for a long, long time.