I can’t believe I’m writing this post so early in the postseason.
I didn’t think the Phillies would have their backs against the wall this early. But they do. And it’s a scary proposition.
Tonight is the deciding Game 5 between the Phytins and the Cardinals. Winner moves on. Loser goes home. On paper, the Phils are supposed to win. After all, they has the most wins this season in Major League Baseball (102).
Alas, the games are on the field, not on paper.
And tonight is scary.
But, it’s Doctober, ladies and gentlemen. There’s a reason the Phillies went and traded for Harry Leroy Halladay. He’s the best in baseball. The man ooozes awesomeness. And tonight is his chance to show why he was traded for and signed to a good deal.
And if he does get into trouble, one Clifton Phifer Lee is apparently going to be available out of the bullpen. That’s one of the reasons why he was brought in. I’ve heard people saying this idea is crazy. Why would the Phils want to use both of these guys in this game. Then who starts Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday?
If the Phils lose, there’s no worry about that now is there?
All hands on deck. Win this one before worrying about the next round. After all, the Phillies lineup made Edwin Jackson look like Cy Young on Wednesday.
One game stands in the way of the Phillies continuing their march toward the ultimate goal.
A loss and it’s a wasted season. A season with 102 wins. With amazing expectations. With a lineup and staff built to win now. Lose tonight and all that is washed down the toilet. Getting to the playoffs isn’t enough for this team. The NL East title means nothing. This team is built for something else.
It’s not 2008 anymore. It’s 2011.
Perform tonight and it doesn’t matter how you get to the next round. Just get there. Win and move on. Lose and have a million what-ifs.
Players like Ryan Howard need to perform. His Game 1 performance was excellent. But from then on out, he’s stunk. It’s like 2010 all over again.
And in the end, as it has for the past two years, it falls on the shoulders of Roy “Doc” Halladay.
To him, it’s a game. And he’ll go at it like normal. Take this clip from an Associated Press story:
“I don’t think you can get too caught up in what game it is, and what it means,” Halladay said. “I think if you go out thinking ‘Wow, this is everything, all-in-one,’ I think it can make too much out of it.”
Business as normal. As it should be.
The crowd at Citizen’s Bank Park should be hopping tonight. Start out fast, Phils, and the crowd will stay with you. Give them something to get rowdy about.
And when it’s all said and done, hopefully “High Hopes” will be blaring in the background and the Liberty Bell lights swinging back and forth. If and when that happens, then you can worry about who is pitching Sunday.
Until then, follow Doc’s lead.
Business as normal.
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