As a lifelong Phillies fan, I haven't always had much to cheer about. Last night Citizens Bank Park was electric.
Allow me to share some sights, sounds and impressions of the game...
I knew I was in for something special when I was greeted pre-game by this man:
Some questioned the decision to have Mitch Williams throw out the first pitch in Game 1. No such doubt last night as Harry Kalas did the honors for Game 2.
Not all is positive in Philsville, however. Mrs. Werth seems to have lost a step since we last saw her.
Jessica Biel made her pitch for fans to "Stand Up To Cancer."
The drunk businessmen around me (pounding Jack & Cokes) were torn and complexed by her.
As Jessica encourgaed everyone to "Stand up":
(While firmly planted in his seat): "I'm already up, baby."
(When Biel asked for them to take out their cell phones): "Gimme the digits, honey."
(When Biel asked them to text to give a $5 donation to "Stand Up To Cancer"): "$5? Yeah that ain't happening."
Clearly, it would have cost him a half a plastic cup of diluted hard liquor.
A man near us had the Spirit of '80 on his mind (and his back).
Name: Michael Jack Smith
Favorite Ballpark Food: The Schmitter
Finally, let's get to brass tax. Phillie fans are constantly dogged about their negativity toward the team and its players.
Fittingly, Brett Myers, posterboy for player inconsistency, was the starter last night. With his near-blowup in the top of the first, you could hear fans hanging on to every pitch he made. Collective groans echoed throughout the stadium. There was an undercurrent of "here-we-go-again" resonating.
Myers got out of the inning, and from there went with a one-hitter through the 7th, but it was his ensuing at bats in Game 2 that he will be remembered for down the road.
But the real magic was as much created by the fans as by Myers. In what other city, with 2 outs, the pitcher batting against CC Sabathia in the 2nd inning, would 50K+ strong hang onto every pitch in an at-bat? What other fan base, besides maybe Boston or New York (AL), would understand the nuances of working a count early on a guy pitching on 3-days rest for the 4th start in a row? Again - with 2 outs, and the pitcher pitcher batting, who an inning before was one hit away from being run out of town, would 50k+ scream at the top of their lungs and wave towels in the 2nd inning? In what other city would said pitcher receive a standing ovation as he changed bats after breaking one on a foul ball? (I commented "Wonderboy").
There was as much excitement in 3 Brett Myers at bats as there was after the Victorino grand slam that the first set up.
THAT, readers, and not stories of Santa, Michael Irvin and battery hurling at JD Drew defines the passion of Philadelphia sports fans.
Go to MLB.com and watch the pitch sequences. Better yet, listen to the pitch sequences as pitch-by-pitch the crowd grows more and more excited.
MLB.com: 10/03/2008 Myers' game at the plate
Here's some crappy video I shot with Lights Out Lidge on the mound.
Just so you know that despite my praise for the Phillies fans, that doesn't mean we've gone soft. Despite the game we just witnessed, fans still expect the best out of the players. At the very end of this short one, note the quote, "Don't start this...THROW HIM A STRIKE!"