Phils Foiled by Mother Nature

Well, we’ll have to put that parade on hold for at least another day, as tonight’s game was suspended due to rain. Contrary to what the broadcasters were blabbering about (more on them later), this blustery rain delay has clearly favored Tampa. There’s no doubt in my mind that under normal conditions Hamels would have shut this team down.

For those inclined to believe in curses, they can’t be too comfortable with a game in which Hamels was cruising until the downpour and subsequent horrible conditions caused Rollins to bobble a ball that might have prevented the Rays from ever scoring that second run. And one can’t help wondering how much the downpour had to do with the Phillies hitting three straight popups in the top of the 5th with two men on. However, both teams had to play in the same conditions so I’m not going to blame rain for the Phillies’ consistent inability to bring home runners in scoring position. One thing that can be blamed on the rain, though, is the loss of Hamels, who had thrown only 75 pitches through six innings. He was clearly on his way to at least an 8-inning performance, but now the Phils must turn to the bullpen much earlier than they otherwise would have—and that clearly benefits Tampa Bay.

But you would never know that listening to the biased broadcasters. I don’t know whether McCarver is overcompensating for being an ex-Phillie, but he has been terrible; they both have been blatantly one-sided. Listening to these guys talk, you might think that the Phillies have done absolutely nothing to win in this series except to be the beneficiaries of a bunch of bad calls. All these broadcasters did for the entire game was whine about bad calls against the Rays and then boohoo about how the sloppy conditions really hurt the Rays: “Whaaa! No fair, this rain affects their running game!” As if the Phillies don’t have a strong running game of their own that would be impacted. And then later on: “Yipee! The Rays just tied the game under horrendous conditions, aren’t they great?”

They’ve been like this all series: playing up Tampa; playing down Philly. We’d get more balance if we were listening to a broadcast out of Tampa Bay. These guys are a disgrace.

Anyway, we must have faith. The rains pouring down may lead some to believe that the curse of William Penn is once again rearing its ugly head—sports fans in general are a superstitious bunch, especially in Philly where our championship futility has reached near mathematically impossible proportions—but the Phils are still ahead 3-1, they still have the better pitching and defense, and they have hit better than the Rays for the entire series. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t still win this thing. So take a breath and come back Tuesday night to watch our Fightins make history. Go Phils!

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