I wrote a game recap for every game that the Phillies played in 2011. There were 196 posts in all; from the pre spring training game with Florida State to the game five loss against the Cardinals. This season felt like Justin and I would be writing about the Phillies deep into the postseason. Now this website will be devoted to what is to come, an offseason in which Ryan Howard will be recovering from surgery and there will be constant inquiries into the ability of this team to succeed going forward.
It seems silly to get this worked up over a game. A game in which has no bearing on the manner in which I live my life. I could attempt to summarize the way that I feel with a forced comparison using Ryan Howard being crumpled on the field along with my hopes and dreams, but it just seems hackneyed, symbolism doing little to quell the feeling spurned on by a season of success ending abruptly. Not only did the best team in Philadelphia Phillies history get knocked out of the playoffs, but one of their cornerstone players suffered a significant injury grounding out to end the game. In addition, they were bested by a team that they helped reach the playoffs that is managed by Tony LaRussa. Fuck. Only profanity springs to mind. I really have little else to take solace in. Thank God for expletives.
The box score of this game is really hard to look at. Shane Victorino had two hits and Chase Utley had one. The Phillies offense did not score. They managed three hits and were shut out by Chris Carpenter. For some reason, this one would have been easier to swallow if they were blown out. A 7-0 loss would be easier to digest than what happened. Roy Halladay threw eight innings and allowed one run. He allowed a lead-off triple to Rafael Furcal. Furcal would have been thrown out at third if Shane Victorino would have hit the cut off man. He came in to score on a Skip Schumaker double. That was the only run that Doc allowed.
These were the type of players that won the series for the Cardinals. It was not Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday or Lance Berkman. It was John Jay, Ryan Teriot and Skip Schumaker. This lead many to turn to Charlie Manual use of the bench turning point in the series. I, for one, wanted no part of Michael Martinez or Wilson Valdez in a meaningful high leverage situation. Like I said before…. Fuck.
Thoughts now turn to next year with supreme remorse about what could have been. Next year, this team will still pitch and eventually, Ryan Howard will come back. That being said, this is not easy. This season was not supposed to be over, but it is.