Sunday, October 07, 2007

Phillies Turn It Off

"The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers." Earl Weaver

My heart is broken. Go ahead, laugh, mock, whatever. When you live in a rabid sports town whose teams come thisclose year after year and then fold, we thought we had a real chance this time.

But no. The Phillies lost.

That power failure in Coors field at the start of the second inning with the Phillies at bat. Believe in Karma or not, it was clearly a sign.

That sign made me toss and turn all last night, my dreams filled with a hodgepodge of images, frustration, disappointment, gloom. Pain.

I woke up this morning when my husband brought in coffee and the newspaper. Head still buried in my pillow, eyes still closed, I said to him, "The headline says 'Lights Out'."

"How did you know that?!?" he was amazed.

What else could it have said? The Rockies punched our lights out. Almost literally. Certainly metaphorically.

Our spirited, come-from-behind winning baseball team couldn't light up the scoreboard or each other. They tanked. Failed. Came undone. They were flat, floundering, decidedly UNspirited.

And I don't know why. Do you?

Yeah, baseball's about pitching. If a pitcher's good, and the Rockies' pitcher sure was, it's hard to score runs. But baseball's also about hitting, and the Phillies have more than their share of towering talent in that area.

None of our hitters showed up Saturday night, at least not in spirit. Though most of them are young, resilient and hot ... they just plain went cold.

Phillie veteran Jamie Moyer, almost 45 years old, showed up. He pitched to win. He cooled the hot Rockies hitters. They scored only 2 runs.

Score one for the Baby Boomer generation.

If only Moyer's teammates had followed his lead, fought back as they've done so many times. That was the story of the Phillies this year -- tremendous comebacks from humongous deficits.

But one by one, the best of them failed to light up. Jimmie Rollins, the Phillie's brilliant sparkplug, who more often than not has electrified the team, was dim, almost lifeless at bat.

Ryan Howard (my new friend), Pat Burrel, Chase Utley, Aaron Roward, all power hitters, were powerless. Shane Victorino flared briefly for a solo home run, but that was it.

And that was it.

Typically at the end of a frustrating Eagles season, we all say hopefully, "Okay, the Phillies."

When the Phillies let us down, we say, "Okay, the Eagles." Right. Their record is 1 and 4.

Sixers? Flyers?

It looks like this town's gonna be dark for a long, long time.

Update: As Inquirer metro columnist and blogger extraordinaire Dan Rubin reminds us on Blinq ... well, see for yourself.

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