The Philadelphia Phillies are now officially playing second fiddle in their own town. Usually, Phillies fans like myself have as much reason, if not more, to watch them as we do the Eagles when football season starts. Yet while the Eagles started their season with a comeback win over the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 9, the Phils were a footnote in town - even with two comeback wins over the Colorado Rockies.
The Phillies completed their three-game sweep over the Rockies the same way they started it - by rallying from early deficits. First in the afternoon, Philadelphia got its second consecutive 3-2 win by erasing a 2-0 deficit and winning in the ninth inning. Then at night, the Phillies overcome a four-run Rockies' third inning and blew by for a 7-4 victory.
On Sept. 7, the Phillies waited until the seventh inning to rally from 2-0 down, then won on a Nick Schierholtz hit in the ninth. Then to start the day-night doubleheader on Sept. 9, Philadelphia erased a 2-0 hole in the third inning this time, and stayed locked up until loading the bases in the ninth. Although John Mayberry Jr. was nearly robbed of a game-winning hit, Carlos Gonzalez couldn't hold the ball and the Rockies fell right before extra innings again.
The nightcap went a different way, as the Rockies finally made Tyler Cloyd look like a rookie in his third starter. Cloyd gave up four runs in the third and couldn't make it to the fifth, leaving the Phillies to overcome their biggest deficit of the weekend. Yet with two runs each in the fifth, sixth and seventh - and all coming on singles except for Ty Wigginton's tying homer - Philadelphia capped off a comeback weekend after all.
This was a day of rallies in Philadelphia, although the Eagles looked much uglier in their rally over the Browns. But with football reigning in town again and with the Phillies only playing for a winning record, it is harder to notice baseball right now. Of course, those of us who are still paying attention notice that the Phillies are just two games under .500 now.
They could have easily dropped all three games to the Rockies and forfeited all of their recent momentum. Instead, games and rallies that they wouldn't have completed or won just a few months ago are now coming easier.
One of the hallmarks of the past five years was the Phillies' inability to go down for good until the final strike. That hallmark returned this weekend - and winning baseball in Philadelphia is starting to make a little comeback as well.
Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident who has followed the Phillies since he was eight years old.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Colorado Rockies