"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.
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.