Last year's choke versus the Red Hot Rockies was a blur, over before we knew it. Nothing comes easy though. We had to fight to get in last year, and we'll have to fight this year. We all know the swoon our offense had been suffering for the better part of the summer. I've heard trade demands from the jerk on the street for everyone from Brett Myers (I myself called for that one a couple weeks ago) to Ryan Howard and, beyond belief, Jimmy Rollins. The J-Roll thing, of course based half on his lackluster post-MVP performance this year at the plate, and half on the hyper sensitive pussy fans who couldn't take the truth of being called "front-runners." Of course they are! Real Phils fans come from Delaware and Jersey. Your average Philadelphia resident is not your average Philly resident thirty years ago. They care more about perpetrating the image of the "Philly Fan" than supporting their team.
I cheered above the boos for Pat Burrel for years while he was hitting thirty homers and 100 RBI's, and the recent boos for the most sabermetrically sound shortstop in major league baseball. The sad fact is that many Phils fans have no baseball knowledge or heart. Every idiot who goes to a game thinks they are the be all and end all of baseball opinion and the funniest hump in section 235. But last nights Phils/Mets showdown was the culmination of all the good the Phils and their fans can be. It really doesn't matter if your a front runner when your team plays with heart like that.
Making the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry look like page six news, the Phillies versus the Mets is the real epic. As the Mets took a seven run lead against the normally stable Jamie Moyer, Philly-Killer Fernando Tatis actually danced his way across home plate on his three-run homer, and Goat Boy Reyes wagging finger is burnt into our minds. Pissed off, our Phils mounted a comeback that lasted from the fourth to the thirteenth inning, resulting finally in a "Wonderboy" Chris Coste walk off single and an 8-7 victory, putting the Phillies back in first for the first time since August 12th.
My favorite Philly, Jimmy Rollins, went 5-7 and 10-12 in the past two games, so screw you! The Big Man connected for his 35th dinger of the season, but the real heroes, as they've been recently, were the bottom of the line-up. "Sugar" Shane Victorino is actually having the MVP season this year, quietly responsible for the intangibles that win these games for the Phils. he and Jayson Werth are constantly manufacturing runs by turning singles into doubles and flying with reckless abandon towards home plate and victory. Eric Bruntlett chipped in, driving in the tying run in the ninth, at which point I jumped so high I hit the ceiling. Even Uncle Charlie's mad-man tactics of preserving bench players by giving "Hamster Pie" Carlos Ruiz an inning at third base worked out perfectly! If Pat the Bat didn't go 0-7, eclipsing the proverbial "Golden Sombrero" the game would have been a gimmee!
Other than that, right now, the Phils believe that they can win any game, and you know what? So do I. Of course we're playing baseball here and nothing is ever written in stone. The Mets are in town for one more night and surely want to get back first place, so it won't be easy, then we go into Wrigley Field, where the Cubs have the best home record in the majors. But here's the thing: even if we weren't on a huge hot streak, I'd still believe in my Phils.