Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ELEVEN TO GO:  As the rabbis explain, each of the three recitations of the Kol Nidre chant on Yom Kippur is a bit different:
The first time he must utter it very softly like one who hesitates to enter the palace of the king to ask a gift of him whom he fears to approach; the second time he may speak somewhat louder; and the third time more loudly still, as one who is accustomed to dwell at court and to approach his sovereign as a friend.
And so it is with the Phillies and the playoffs.  The first time, against Colorado in 2007, we were giddy and thrilled to have snuck in on the last day.  By the fourth time around, and with one WFC belt already, the city is full of confidence and swagger and no one expects less than a third straight return to the World Series.

But it's not just repetition that provides confidence.  This team may not have scored quite as many runs as its predecessors (though injuries have played a part), but it's given up far fewer.  Having Two Roys and the Boy on the mound for potentially 17 of 19 playoff starts is a weapon that we've never had before -- indeed, you have to go back at least to the mid-aughts Astros of Clemens-Oswalt-Pettite to find any team that had starting pitching like this for a playoff run.  Moreover, it's the way they won the division crown this year with that blisteringly-awesome (yet Rollins-free) stretch run that makes me believe that on my 38th birthday, November 3, I'm either going to need my World Series Game Six ticket or I'll be at a parade.  As the 700 Level suggests, Welcome to Doctober:
The postseason in South Philly is where Brett Myers walked and Shane Victorino hit a grand slam. It's where Joe Blanton hits home runs. It's where Pat Burrell's final Philly swing sent one bouncing off the high wall in center. It's where Brad Lidge remained perfect. It's where Harry called the game of his life and Wheels celebrated like Wheels. It's where "Get me to the plate boys!" happened. It's where "Jimmmmmmmy!" was born. It's where Chase Utley joins the likes of Reggie Jackson. It's where championship pipe dreams become a reality.

The games simply mean more in the postseason. As the ticket gods may have it, the people who appreciate that meaning tend to, one way or another, find their ways into Citizens Bank Park when it matters most.

And they will get loud.
[Predictions: Phillies in 3, Giants in 5, Twins in 5, Rays in 4.]


  1. Jenn.9:46 AM

    Given how things were looking, I wasn't sure that I was going to need to pack my Braves cap this weekend.  Strike that---Braves <span>caps</span>.  Now to figure out how to get the boyfriend to wear one of them....

  2. Adam C.9:49 AM

    Agree with each of the predictions, though I give the Reds a puncher's chance to steal a low-scoring win and force the Phils to a game 4.  Twins-Yanks has the potential to be the most entertaining overall series.

  3. Carmichael Harold9:58 AM

    I find this whole Philly-sports optimism thing strange and unsettling, though I wonder if it's just that I'm in DC that I don't share it. 

    In an effort to share my natural pessimism and try and drop the widespread Philly overconfidence to below god-taunting levels, I'd like to cite to the Braves teams of the 90s as evidence that three good to great starters guarantee nothing. Also, we have the worst pen of any team in the playoffs.

  4. patricia10:35 AM

    Yeah, whether the Braves can win their series really depends on which team shows up- the one that can hit and doesn't make too many stupid errors, or the one that was shut out on Bobby Cox Day.  I hope it will be the former, but I'm concerned we'll see the latter.  Anyway, I have tickets to both games in Atlanta, in faith that they can win at least one.  This truly is a "we're just happy to be here" kind of year.

  5. Joseph J. Finn11:04 AM

    <span> Phillies in 4, Braves in 5, Twins in 5, Rays in 4.  Yeah, going for the upset in the Giants series.</span>

  6. Man, I wish I were in Atlanta for these games.  I'll be on the West Coast for an argument followed by vacation.  Wonder how the boyfriend would feel about scheduling dinner around the ball game....

    In other news:  Congrats, Tampa Bay!  You won the lottery for the team that was screwed the most by the LDS scheduling!  Game 1 in Tampa at 1:30 pm on a weekday.  Game 2 in Tampa at 2:30 on a weekday.

  7. Anonymous11:13 AM

    Can anyone find a link to baseball prospectus's world series projection page. I've been following the regular season one for the last month, but cannot find the World Series page.


  8. Phillies in 3, Giants in 4, Yankees in 4, Rays in 5. But I'm hoping for the Reds (if only because it's apparent the Braves would have no shot against the Phils), the Braves, the Twins and Rays.

  9. Andrew12:09 PM

    I wasn't aware that it was possible to go to games in Tampa since no one does during the regular season, I guess MLB used the same reasoning for the playoffs. 

  10. The Pathetic Earthling12:10 PM

    Game.  Singular.

  11. If you mean Secret Sauce, they've retired that metric as being less-than-valuable.

  12. Christy in Philly12:32 PM

    The 700 level excerpt made my heart beat-- loudly!

    Counting down the hours until I head down to the ball park. I have game 1 for this series, game 1 for the next (although I'm trying to trade or sell to buy game 2 instead) and game 7 for the WS...if the baseball gods should bless us. I'm praying that Harry puts in a good word.

    Let's go Phillies!

  13. Carrie2:04 PM

    Polanco is out today with a bad back.

  14. Jenn.2:09 PM

    There's a bunch of "playoff prospectus" stuff on the articles page, bd.

  15. Benner2:30 PM

    What a shame that Tampa residents will have to miss dinner to see those games . . .

  16. The Pathetic Earthling2:45 PM

    I'm hoping for Reds in 5 (because I'd rather see them than the Phillies), Giants in 3, Twins in 4, Rangers in 4.  I believe I am going to get Phillies in 4, Giants in 4 (and look forward to an NLCS combined run total of <20). Yankees in 4, TB in 5.

  17. tortoiseshelly2:52 PM

    I'm with you on hopeful outcome, mainly because I'd like the Rangers to do something during my lifetime.

  18. Anonymous2:52 PM

    I'd rather see Polly out today and rest. 

    Phils in 4.

  19. Michelle3:12 PM

    let's go redlegs!  (sorry philly peeps, it's just too exciting if you live in cincy right now)

  20. bill.3:17 PM

    Game can still end in time for dinner early bird specials.

  21. Joseph J. Finn4:50 PM

    Naw, the Rangers still have to work off the bad karma of inflicting Sammy Sosa on Chicago.  ;)

  22. Well, now, wasn't that impressive!

  23. Carmichael Harold7:44 PM

    !!!! #imspeechless

  24. Carmichael Harold7:57 PM

    I'm not sure there are words to describe how excited I am for you that you got to go to that game.  

  25. ChinMusic8:02 PM

    Astounding. I am, in fact, a little surprised this blog is still in operation.

  26. Adam C.8:59 PM

    Ehhh. It's no perfect game.

    But seriously, I'm glad Carmichael is feeling a little more optimistic now.

  27. Carmichael Harold9:03 PM

    I'm thrilled/delighted/over-the-moon/lucky at the fact that I was able to watch a game like that for my team.  Optimistic?  Eh. .  . (In 2008, I wasn't optimistic until after the final out. . .it's a birth defect, I think).

  28. Carmichael Harold9:04 PM

    <span>I'm thrilled/delighted/over-the-moon/feeling lucky at the fact that I was able to watch a game like that for my team.  Optimistic?  Eh. .  . (In 2008, I wasn't optimistic until after the final out. . .it's a birth defect, I think).</span>

  29. Christy in Philly9:57 PM

    Being there was incredible! Because of my seat location, the ballpark didn't seem that loud to me-- I'm comparing it to the 2008 WS game 5 though-- both nights! Watching highlights since I got home though, I hear how loud it really was.

    Seeing a no hitter was a life list item for me. Tonight was amazing!

  30. Adam C.11:52 PM

    I hear ya, CH.'s OK to enjoy this team.  Really.  It's OK.

  31. Carmichael Harold7:13 AM

    Oh, I do love this team, I just love it for what has happened not what may happen (if that makes sense).