About a week ago, the Phillies finished off a four game sweep of the hated New York Mets. The final win was a crazy one -- a win-for-the-ages kind of game. The Phils scored three runs in the last two innings to pull out an 11-10 game that drew them to within two games of the Mets.
Fans were giddy. The players were reacting as if they'd won the World Series. Living in Illinois, I was only able to follow the game online. A few minutes after it was final, I watched the highlights on mlb.com. And again. And again. I even made my wife watch the highlights. Things were going good. Muck the Fets!
I thought about coming on here and posting about that game, and how fun the next few weeks would be as the playoff chase heated up.
But, I knew better.
Don't get me wrong, that four game sweep was fun, and I was a very happy man after that 11-10 win. But happiness as a baseball fan comes and goes daily. For Phillies fans, happiness lasts on a minute by minute basis.
In fact, being a fan of any Philly team is rough. But we've covered that before. Several times.
But, back to the Phightins. You see, that four game sweep against the Mets was all the more necessary, because the Phillies had opened their homestand going 1-4 against the Dodgers and Padres, two teams fighting for the wild card and Western division races as well.
That four game sweep also came after a prior road trip that saw the Phillies blow not one, but two games in which they had 4-run leads against the Pirates of all teams.
And, after going to Florida following that four game sweep, although the Phillies did win the opener of their series with the Marlins, they lost the next two, including Sunday's game when they held a 5-run lead.
It should be noted that the finale of the Mets' series - the wild 11-10 win - the Phillies also blew a 5-run lead in that game...and an 8-5 lead, too.
So let's fast forward to today in Atlanta. After splitting the first two games with the Braves -- another team I'm sick of -- the Phillies had a chance to win the series, draw back to within four games of the Mets, and creep back to within two games of the wild card lead.
Wouldn't you know it, by the 2nd inning, the Phillies were up 5-0!
To make a painfully long story short, after leading 8-2 in the 8th, the Braves string together bloop hit after bloop hit, score four runs and make it an 8-6 game. In the bottom of the ninth, after two were out with nobody on base, the Braves string together two infield singles, draw a walk, and then some clown hits a game winning bases-clearing double off the tip of the glove of Chris Roberson in right field, and the Phollies, I mean Phillies, lose 9-8.
Quite possibly the most demoralizing loss since Mitch Williams made Joe Carter a folk hero back in 1993. It was certainly the worst loss of the season.
I could go on and on about how ill I feel, how rough it is being a Phillies fan, etc., but I'd rather let some of the other Phillies' fans out there do the talking for me.
Here is a sample of some of the opinions shared by Phillies' Phaithfuls on the message boards at Philly.com.
Roman529: "I am happy we are not going to the playoffs. This team doesn't deserve anything accept to lay awake at night in the off season and wonder what could have been."
JIMI20: "Anybody wanna bye some Phillies gear REAL CHEAP. Hats, Shirts, Hood, Jacket, Towels...Etc....Best offer."
Rodak2000: "Unbelievable only the Phillies could blow a lead like that. Another chapter in their book How To Lose Ball Games!"
HuskerPhil: "I'm outta here for the rest of the season. That's one of the worst meltdowns ever. Put a fork in 'em . . . Turn Out The Lights . . . Pick Your Cliche - - The Season is Over"
4778774: "This was the crowning achievement game for this year. It is over!!!!!!!!!!!"
Iggleholic: "I am going to put my bag of bits in a vice now, because it pales in comparisson to how torturous it is to watch this team. Hate is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel about this team at the moment."
PhillyFan927: "I'll have to invent some new expletives to properly express how I feel about this."
tyrone330: "i hate this team."
Pain. Misery. Heartbreak. The life of a Phillies fan.
A few minutes after the game today, while I sat stunned, staring blankly at the television, I muttered, "I hate baseball. I can't believe they just blew this game."
My seven-year old daughter looked at me and said, "Why do you still watch it?"
Good question, Megan.