If you're like me--and I know I am--then describing last night as intense is like saying the Eiffel Tower has height. This game was ridiculous in every sense of the word. Up 2-0, then down 3-2. Looking like they were certain to tie it up in the top of the sixth, then they blew it, but then tied it up anyway on Chan Ho Park's wild pitch that brought in Ryan Howard. Then Chad Durbin comes in and gives the lead right back, a home run to Casey Blake. A couple of hits, Howard throws the ball away on a sacrifice bunt, and all of a sudden it's 5-3 Dodgers. Even after Chase Utley's fantastic catch and sliding tag of second base to double off Rafael Furcal kept the game close, I was miserable. And I know you all were too. "Now it'll be 2-2, it'll go 7, and we'll find a way to lose."
And my friend Mark, sitting with me at the bar in Hoboken, said, "Couple of runs is nothing. Remember, this is October."
And wasn't he right. Five outs away from having our 2-0 series lead erased, and Howard on first, Los Angeles Public Enemy #1 stepped to the plate. Shane Victorino, our Flyin' Hawaiian, nailed the first pitch from Cory Wade deep down the rightfield line, and somehow it cleared the fence into the Philly bullpen. Tie game. And Hiroki Kuroda was somewhere on the Dodger bench wishing he hadn't thrown at Victorino's head the night before.
Then, with Carlos Ruiz on first, Charlie Manuel sent waiver-deadline acquisition Matt Stairs to the plate to pinch-hit for Ryan Madson. Dodger manager Joe Torre brought in his closer, Jonathan Broxton, who hadn't given up a home run to ANYONE since May 31. And he hadn't given up one in Dodger Stadium since July of 2006. Take a moment, let that sink in. Stairs took a strike, and then three balls. Broxton reared back, fired his best fastball, and with one swing, the 40-year-old Canadian crushed the pitch, and the hearts of many a Dodger fan.
But of course that wasn't it. Brad Lidge reminded the world that you can strike out and still make it to first. With two on in the bottom of the eighth, in typical Philly fan fashion, I was waiting for the three-run shot that would give the Dodgers the lead back. But then Loney flied out weakly to left. And Lidge was lights out in the ninth.
And I was delirious. It's a good thing the Giants game was over and that most of the bar had cleared out, cause that meant I had room to jump around and pump my fist without hurting anyone. And I still can't believe we won. I keep checking the scoreboards and the highlights to make sure that it really happened, that they didn't decide in the middle of the night to take it away.
It's crazy, all of it. But Mark was right. So is October.
"Have a little phaith." --John Hiatt
Better yet, have a lot.
When the Phils got Stairs, I liked the move, and I remember sending the story to a couple of friends. Here's an e-mail I got this morning from my friend Scott:
"So when the Phils got Stairs I remember you being really excited (i think it was that acquisition) and I said to you something like "relax, he's a utility player, they rarely make the difference, he's not the contact hitter we need nor is he the answer to our problems..." Well, all it takes is one swing to make you right...and right you were, so I'm giving you props - for one night (the most important night of our season so far) he was the man...and the difference. Wow, what a game."
Anyone notice how the Eagles and Phillies just cannot win in the same day? Good news for everyone, the Birds are on their bye this week. And with the Eagles hanging on to win, we gained a game on everyone in the division, who all lost to teams they probably should've beaten.
Does anyone really like these Old Spice ads? First of all, just what is that whistle? Is that supposed to be catchy, to get in my head and make me want to buy the product? Then you've got that Robert Goulet wannabe butchering Hungry Like the Wolf at the piano, while scantily clad girls are taking turns saying, "Ahoy." Ahoy?!? What the hell is that? Are we 17th century Englishmen on a ship that's just come in sight of landfall? Not the last time I checked. And now we've got this guy who's a half-man, half-horse, and it's supposed to be funny cause he's "two great things in one" but no one's mentioning that he's a horse. I don't know about you, but I can't imagine being half-man, half-horse is a good thing. Am I supposed to be jealous? Am I supposed to think, "Yeah, that would be cool to be half-horse!"? Cause I don't. The fact that this campaign was ever hatched is only beaten by the fact that it's still going. So, I'm done with Old Spice products. If good commercials are supposed to make you want to buy the product, I'm boycotting products whose commercials piss me off.