Phightin' Words

20070928_inq_phils28zd "Having seen or listened to nearly every single Phillies game since 1962, this team has just moved into the vaulted spot held by the '93 team as my most exciting Phillies team of my generation. Move over Kruckster, Lenny, Dutch and Hollins the NEW Broadstreet bombers have taken over no matter the outcome of the rest of the year."

That's it, the nectar I was searching for in Phlogdom this late-September morning when the birds are chirping, it's Friday and Indian Summer-warm, and the 2007 Phillies find themselves with a foot on first place with only three games to go.

It's from a commenter at Beerleaguer with the handle '64 survivor.

The swoon we're talking about today isn't from a legendary Phillies team, but from the team one metropolis to the North.  The Mets held a 7-game lead with 17 left in the season. If you log onto to ESPN this morning, you'll savor the headline, "Shea It Ain't So."

It's so. The lead squandered. A four-game skid. Something rotten in the Big Apple.

Over at Swing & A Miss, Tom Goodman is fixated on the not-so-amazin' Mets, which is understandable.

But it's an old grudge he's trying to work out of his back molars:

Meanwhile, back at the pennant race, the Mets continue to stumble and bumble their way towards possibly one of baseball's legendary late-season collapses. It couldn't happen to a nicer team. (On occasion I still wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, sit up straight and ask myself, "How in the hell did the Mets beat the Orioles in '69??!!")

The exercise continues in the comments, as readers tease out of him the most agonizing memories of the Mets and 1969, and we get an argument in which the young Ron Swoboda and Tommy Agee are gamboling across the green fields of a more innocent era.

A time when one could write innocent and Mets in the same sentence.

By_jerry_lodriguss With a fairly important weekend of baseball on the way, Balls Sticks & Stuff is thinking of sacrifice -- the sort of sacrifice the phaithful must make when hope is on the line:

Yes, we all have lives outside of baseball, but at a time like this, you have to go down to the game.  I'm going tonight, despite having two jobs, a wife that is is bursting at the seams, and a dog who is very adamant about his daily walks and fetch session.

Enrico at the 700 Level is stealing time from his studies (he's dropped down to D.C. for B school, but mustard still flows through his veins) to weigh in on that special something:

The Phillies are good.  Their line up can beat any pitcher in the bigs on any given day.  We've kind of known this but tended to brush it aside because the pitching was so bad, so hot, and so cold.  The Phillies are not only good but they have shown they have that certain something that can get win them games.

What is that special something?  Can't say exactly.  But if you look at Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, Kyle Kendrick, J.C. Romero, etc., you see it.  Heck, even Dobbs, Werth, and company off the bench give you a good feeling.  On any given night it's been a different guy.  It's hard not to single out Jimmy, though.  He's the face of this 2007 squad and what a lovely smile it is.

Pitching. Yeah. Pitching is still a concern, as always.  If the Phillies are for real, the pitching is going to have play out of their mind for the next three days.  And over the next few weeks, baseball gods permitting.

Three games left in the regular season.  The Phillies are tied atop the division and one back from the wildcard.  In come the Nationals.  This is about as meaningful a set of games this town has seen in September in ages.  Get you're rally towels out.

He's a realist. Color him cautiously optimistic.

The Good Phight wastes no words:

159 games later, Phils are once again tied for first place.

What a strange and wonderful feeling.

Hey, we're a page away from October, and we've got a pennant race here.

Posted 09/28/2007 12:41:30 PM

Go Phils! I grew up living and breathing baseball and Phillies, back in the late 50s and early 60s. The 1964 collapse was just too much for me to stand. I was heart-broken and lost interest in baseball for many years, and moved elsewhere as I grew up. What else could I become in the future but a Cubs or RedSox fan, right? Yes, I've been a Sox fan for many years now, living in Boston. But this great news about the Phillies' final push forward on the heels of the Mets collapse is just so exciting. It seems like the pain of 1964 might finally disappear for me. Go Phils! (At least until you meet the Sox in the World Series.) Then I will have a dilemma.

daniel rubin
Posted 09/28/2007 01:51:25 PM

if it got that far, my head would explode.

Posted 09/28/2007 02:04:39 PM

This is truly an exciting race; one that 4 weeks ago we never thought would exist. However, the Phillies have a history of not being able to win the big games and have left us down countless times in the final few days of the season. They will find a way to lose, and I don't know which is worse: the pain of knowing they were out of contention a month ago or the pain of falling one game short.

Posted 09/28/2007 03:39:21 PM

Yo Brian, Life long Philly fan here - enjoy the moment - as a kid I skipped school and went to the Flyers Parades - cheered every Doc vs. Larry showdown (magic too)- and gutted out the Eagles hoping that one of their wins in their awful seasons would be against the Cowboys - and then there is the Phils - screaming "no" - when Fregosi went to Mitch even though the pitcher on the mound was doing just fine - with Danny Jackson getting ready for game 7. Oh the misery the agony and the delight - its awesome to hear that stadium roar ( I mean awesome - I love it) and these guys - the same guys who ran out to rescue the opposing teams ground crew and tarp - like Maurice putting his arm around that little girl during the National anthem - these are our kind of players - they know how to act - stand up guys - playing every at bat - more than into it - (good riddance Abreu) and even Burrell like a Phoenix rising from the ashes - Coste story also - the Jimmy Rollins quote at the beginning of the year - don't stop believing - is right because when it's over we'll have to scoop up the exploded head of Daniel Rubin, and the burst of joy that will be heard coast to coast will be seismic - no fans more than US deserve it - and these our own Philadelphia Phillies have the right stuff, character, talent, and integrity to pull it off - why(?) because they LOVE to play the game - and it shows - and we love it and there is nothing wrong with showing that either. My Phillies Flag has been flying on my house since April and it ain't comin' down anytime soon - Wahoo Go Phillies, Go Marlins!

Posted 09/28/2007 05:38:21 PM

It's possible the neighbors think my husband's beating me when I start screaming at the games on TV. (And no, I'm not married to Brett Myers.) Not gonna say anything else that could conceivably be construed as a jinx. One thing: have you noticed Nobody's talking about the Eagles?

Posted 09/30/2007 05:54:59 PM


Posted 09/30/2007 07:43:19 PM

I just got home from the game. 1964 is dead.