That there was sadness mixed with the joy goes without saying. Because, yes, the Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers with an 8-5 victory. But also because, yes, this was the day when Phils manager Charlie Manuel received word that his mother had died at the age of 87.
There is no adequate way to compare real life and a really big baseball game, and so there will be no attempt here to try. Just know that Manuel worked the game, as usual, and that whatever respite he received as it was played is meaningful for that reason alone.
And what a long, wild game. It was a game where the Phillies put up four runs in the second inning and four runs again in the third -- and none of them were as the result of a home run. It was a game where pitcher Brett Myers had three hits, which is as many hits as he has had in about the last three seasons combined. It was a game where the Dodgers' Manny Ramirez hit a three-run homer and continued to terrorize, as advertised. And it was a game where Phillies closer Brad Lidge put two baserunners on in the ninth inning before keeping his perfect save streak alive.
So much. Such a meaningful game for a team desperate to win a championship for a championship-starved town. Such an odd feeling, though, thinking about the man as he emerged from the dugout to join the customary handshake line with his team in the middle of the diamond.