Andrew Whitlatch - gcobb.com - October 11, 2011A raucous applause spewed out of sports bars all over Philadelphia Sunday night as Cole Hamel’s threw the final pitch to strike out the last batter of the game defeating the Cincinnati Reds (and I must say what an appropriate way to end the series by striking out Scott Rolen, sorry we wanted you to stay) and sealing the Phillies third straight NLDS title.
Security guards clung to their clubs and held a watchful eye anticipating the destructive behavior Philadelphia Police have seen the last two seasons. This year is different, a short applause followed by a calm walk out of the bar. Phillies fans expect this team to win. The playoffs are not new to us anymore. This is the National League we have bigger fish fry.
It is safe to say the Phillies are on a tear. Two out of the three games were shut outs and not to mention one of those a no-hitter. The Phillies are marking up the history books having the fewest allowed hits in a division series holding the Red’s 89 at bats to just 11 hits.
Halladay has been the rock for this team all season boasting a 2.44 ERA for the 2010 season and his epic no-hitter which I’m sure had many fans thinking how nicely that would fit in with the flashback playoff montage after the Phils take the NL title. The Phillies have the right mix to push them past the National League.
Although Oswalt struggled in the second game the bats were there to pick it up. Just when Cole Hamels couldn’t get any more impressive in the playoffs he throws a complete game shut-out to compliment Halladay’s no-hitter. If this is any indication to how good Hamel’s is at complimenting color scheme for his living room then his wife is a luck woman.
The subdued excitement is not from the lack of love for this team, it comes from experience. Philadelphia fans have been here before we have kept one eye on these Yankees the entire year and since stealing the title from us in 2009 the timing is perfect for this red hot Phillies team.
Don’t think this win means any less to the fans than it did two years ago. Think of it as a seasoned married couple’s relationship. We don’t love this team any less because we don’t make out in public any more. We are not newlyweds anymore we have grown accustomed to our playoff way of life. We are past the infatuation stage and are gunning for another World Series Title.
It seems our division rivals ran out of steam. The Braves injury plagued line-up and .165 batting average in the playoffs is not going to get them past the Giants. The Phillies can look forward to seeing their old friend Pat Burrell. Lucky for us Burrell’s snail like speed and quickness is now another team’s problem. In the words of Jay-Z “I’m not looking at you dudes; I’m looking past you.” In this case the “dudes” Jay are referring to are the Giants. Philadelphia fans can look forward to beating the Giants and another shot at the championship.