When I originally got tickets to last night's game, I was hoping it would be the clincher. Actually, I was hoping the team would have already clinched, but figured that at worst, last night's game would do it. But, alas, all last night's game did was bring the Phillies within 1 game of clinching. Not the same as clinching, but I'll take it.
So after a night at the game, rather than bringing you some deep analysis of matters of import to the Phillies, here's a random collection of thoughts about the game, the team, and other matters:
- The Phillies now stand 1 win or 1 Braves' loss away from clinching the NL East. As it stands, they've clinched a tie. They have a 99.96% chance of making the playoffs. Maybe you're the more cautious type, but I'll consider this pretty much a sure thing.
- Citizens Bank Park was a very exciting place to be last night. The fans were not only into the game but also were very clearly closely following the Braves' game on the out-of-town scoreboard. When the Marlins took their final lead, there were cheers. This is a passionate and intelligent fanbase.
- It's also a fanbase that knows how to wave a rally towel. Whoever invented these things is a genius. They create a really great effect in the crowd while giving you something else to do to get excited. They're also wonderfully fun for 3 year olds to play with during the game. And they make great rags for at home once the game is done.
- The out-of-town scoreboard at Citizens Bank Park is great. It really gives you all the information you want to know -- inning, who's up, how many outs, and men on base. It's updated quickly, and major events get described in the text scoreboard separating the AL and NL games. Of course, it's only a great source of information if you can see it, which is a problem if you're in right field.
- On the flipside, even though I've been to scores of games at CBP since it opened, I still always have trouble quickly finding the count during an at-bat. It's posted in a variety of places, but none of them seems "natural" to me and none are so prominent that you can't miss them.
- I still don't understand how last night could have been the 68th sellout in 76 games and yet the attendance at all those games varies. If it's a sellout, shouldn't it have exactly X number of tickets sold, no more, no less?
- Even though there's been some attention paid to the issue over the years, the Phillies still don't attract a diverse group of fans to the ballpark. Everywhere you look at CBP, the fans are white. It seemed like I could count the number of African-American fans on two hands. And Asian or Latino fans seemed nonexistent. And this isn't just something I noticed last night. It's every game I attend.
- At first, I was very concerned that J.A. Happ threw 120 pitches. Looking at his game log though shows he has thrown a similar number of pitches a few times already this year and been able to recover. However, it's been a long season, he's never had this kind of a workload, he's been injured, and his other high-pitch games were not as much of a struggle for him. So, after looking into it, I'd say I'm moderately concerned about him going forward.
- Finally, related to the picture accompanying this post, did the Phan-a-vision trivia question last night really have to come from something that took place during the 1964 season? Who was the genius responsible for that?