I didn't have to be watching the game with my father to know exactly what he said after Rollins to Utley to Howard clinched the Phightins' second straight division crown.
"Never in doubt."
Of course, the phrase is only uttered ironically in our family, when the outcome is anything but. Every Philly fan knows all too well: if there's any time left in the game/season, there's time left to blow it. And as I paced my living room, listening to Harry Kalas (because I was blacked out of watching it), I know I wasn't the only one picturing disaster, not just on Saturday, but extending somehow into Sunday, giving the Mets the division and leaving us at home. The story was going to be Brad Lidge blowing his first save of 2008 after going 40-for-40, when one more would've wrapped it up. And yet, as the story was writing itself in the dark recesses of my mind, Jimmy Rollins saved the day. The man may not have been a hitting machine this year, but his fielding is always solid.
"Never in doubt."
"Yeah right, Dad."
It's time to give Lidge his due. I wanted to last week when we regained first place, but I was mortally afraid of being the kiss of death. He was probably the best closer in the game this year (even the stupidly named K-Rod (psst there's no K in his name!) blew 7 saves in his record-setting season). Anyone remember how we got this guy? He and Eric Bruntlett came over from the Astros for Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary and Mike Costanzo. Translation: We got a lights-out closer for some extra bulbs. Even if he didn't pan out, or was only marginally successful, it's not like we mortgaged Boardwalk to put a house on Baltic.
So here's to Brad Lidge, captain of the surprisingly solid Phillies bullpen. Here's to Pat Gillick for making the trade look like two twenties for a ten. Here's to Ryan Howard, who discovered at the end of August that at-bats can have outcomes other than home runs and strikeouts. Here's to winning it on Saturday, not just for our mental and physical health, but also because Hamels didn't have to start on Sunday, which sets up the rotation nicely for the first round against the Brewers. And here's to Jamie Moyer. I mean, the guy's like 87 years old and he went 16-7? I don't know how that happens, and, frankly, I don't care. Cause this team is good, and we're beating the Brewers in four.
(P.S. Here's to Wes Helms. The man may have not done too much in a Phillie uniform, but you gotta love him hitting the home run that ended the Mets season. I think I may buy a portrait of Jose Reyes heading to the locker room and frame it.)
Regarding the Eagles, I'm not going to say too much. Today, and this week, is for the Phils. So I'll sum it up quickly: stupid penalties, ATROCIOUS playcalling, the tally of DeSean's huge screwups now at three, no two-minute drill EVER, and a refusal to challenge the most crucial spot of the season thus far. philly.com's Eagletarian voiced exactly what I feel about the game in his article entitled "This One's on Andy." God forbid all the Philadelphia teams win at the same time. Hell might just freeze over.
"I'm phorever yours, phaithfully." --Journey
Other Musings: So I know you've seen the Pizza Hut commercials where they're pushing their Tuscani pastas. They show a restaurant of New Yorkers thinking they're eating gourmet pasta. The chef comes out to give them the news and he says, "I didn't do anything tonight. In fact, I didn't even cook." What? "In fact, you didn't even cook"? Like that makes any sense! If you didn't do anything, then of course you didn't cook! I don't know who this guy is, but he probably thinks the meatatarian is a funny guy.