We all know how many Phillies heroes are populating this year’s playoffs; we’re all closing our eyes during the games and pretending that we’ve gone back in time to the age of October baseball in Philadelphia and before the wretched onset of adult life.
[Looks at beautiful family eating breakfast, reflecting on the life we’ve all built together]
"WHEN WILL THE PHILLIES BE IN THE PLAYOFFS AGAIN."
[Baby starts crying; I start crying]
But last night’s American League Wild Card play-in game, which featured an entire playoff’s worth of high stakes moments and wall-punching intensity in 11 innings, spawned a few pity-references for those of us whose teams have already shuttered their stadiums for the winter. For instance, when an enormous Toronto sewer rat snuck into the Rogers Centre and hurled a full beer can at Orioles outfielder Hyun Soo Kim while screaming racial slurs, who could people think of but us?
Ha ha, relax everyone. This cliche seems to have been stifled mostly to just this one adult man wearing a hat he stole from an uncool teenager. Thanks to the fan atrocities that have been committed all across baseball over the years, the notion that one single fan base is responsible for all of baseball’s behavioral problems has been effectively dispelled among the sport’s respected voices.
But yet another moment stirred indirect Phillies references last night, and once again, I’m sorry; but it wasn’t in a good way.
For reasons that will never be explained, Buck Showalter left Zach Britton, an AL Cy Young contender as a closer, out of the game... even as the game entered extras, even when the Oriole desperately needed to suffocate the Blue Jays offense, even with the season on the line. After the Orioles’ best pitcher, who was NOT the closer with the 0.54 ERA, let two runners on, Edwin Encarnacion sent a space rock into the night sky that scientists had to scramble to track.
It was the second Toronto walk-off win in playoff history, the first being another game in which an appearance from Zach Britton might've helped matters, except that he was six years old at the time, but at least then we could have used the excuse, "Hey, lay off him, he's six."
Don’t worry, I'm not going to show it to you. With the Blue Jays in the post season, you'll see the Joe Carter clip quite enough in the coming weeks.
Thankfully, alarms went off and the TGP Joe Carter Relief Squad sprang into action. John Stolnis rushed in and hurled a bucket of eye bleach on the matter.
After Edwin Encarnacion's walk-off HR, HERE it the only Phillies walk-off home run in postseason history. https://t.co/0YZxi00U1G— John Stolnis (@FelskeFiles) October 5, 2016
Meanwhile, others rushed to have history rewritten.
100% agree. Only one anyone needs to talk about anymore, really. https://t.co/Xhtufft0OE— Justin Klugh (@justin_klugh) October 5, 2016
All in all, it was a complete success. I’ll bet no one is thinking of Joe Carter’s walk-off home run off Mitch Williams to beat the Phillies in the 1993 World Series at all right now. Who knows how many Phillies references we’ll get tonight, when the Mets and Dodgers meet in the National League Wild Card game!
I know I’ll be "working late," if you know what I mean! Ha ha ha.
[Closes trunk of car that is full of beers to throw at outfielders; puts on Mets hat]
See you at the game!