Is this really happening? Are the Phillies really just one win away from a championship? Are they really just 27 outs from breaking the curse of William Penn and releasing this city from 25 years of championship futility? As Philly fans whose hearts have been broken so many times in the past, we have learned to take every step toward salvation with a grain of salt, but with a 3-1 lead, the odds are overwhelmingly in our favor. If we don’t win this year, we never will.
The bats came alive big time tonight, and Howard could not have picked a better time to go on one of his patented hot streaks. It’s also no coincidence that the runs finally started coming when Rollins finally started hitting. Up and down the lineup, almost everyone contributed.
Meanwhile, Blanton, except for a couple of mistakes, was absolutely dominant tonight, and how about going deep? You know it’s your night when that happens. When all the big-name trades happened back in the summer, Blanton largely flew under the radar in most people’s eyes as yet another half-hearted acquisition by a franchise not willing to pull the trigger on a major deal (I admit to being less than excited myself, though I never hated the move), but all Blanton has done since arriving in Philly is win. Meanwhile, the more glamorous acquisitions like Sabathia and Ramirez are currently watching the series on TV.
On a side note, thumbs-down to this umpiring crew for some big-time blown calls against both teams. During the previous couple of games those bad calls mostly favored the Rays, but tonight one bounced our way after the third-base ump called Rollins safe when he was clearly out, leading to the Phils’ first run. Thankfully, the bad calls have not determined the outcomes of the games, but come on, this is the World Series—blowing that many calls is simply unacceptable—both teams deserve better.
Anyway, this was the Phillies’ night, and now they have a chance to close this series out in front of the hometown fans with their ace on the mound. You couldn’t write a better script. Go Phils!