Today, for game 162 of the season, the Phillies won. They beat the Mets for their 66th win of the year.
They made it look easy. The lineup was pretty much as it should look, even with Andrew Knapp (he should be the backup catcher anyway), and everything was clicking and humming.
In the fourth inning, Maikel Franco hit a three-run home run to put the Phillies up 3-0. Then they’d score another three runs in that very inning by playing some station to station ball. Not everything has to be a home run, and the Phillies got to show off more than their power today.
In the sixth inning they scored five runs, with three coming from an inside-the-park home run from Nick Williams. It was just glorious. He hit a ball to the wall in left center, and it was an actual legal home run, but Williams didn’t know it. He hit the ball and thought it was out, spending a second watching it at the plate. Then when he thought it stayed inside the stadium, he turned on the wheels majorly, and made it home long before the ball.
When Williams ran across home plate, I burst into tears. It was 11-0. And I was watching the same team I’d be watching in 2018.
And in return, the Phillies’ pitching staff absolutely stifled the Mets. Nick Pivetta had an odd start, allowing just two hits and striking out seven, but he walked five. Those two hits, though, were the only ones the Phillies would allow all game. The Mets got nothing going against the Phillies.
I would post some highlights, but I kind of just want to sit with this game in my memory for right now. The Phillies haven’t ended the season on such a positive note in years. This feels like a turning point, and I want to savor every second of it.
It was Pete Mackanin’s last day as Phillies manager. And to the complete surprise of everyone, including Pete Mackanin, the crowd at the game gave him a standing ovation as he went out and delivered the lineup card for the final time.
I’ve been torn about the Phillies letting Mackanin go with three games left in the season. But if they hadn’t, Pete never would have gotten that amazing farewell. And if anything shows you how Phillies fans have appreciated what this team has done over the past few years, it’s this. Mackanin was far from universally beloved, he had issues in numerous areas. But he worked hard with this team and for this team, and the fans see it.
The ovation was spontaneous and beautiful. The Phillies are ready to move forward, but that doesn’t mean the players or the fans will forget the past. After the last handful of seasons, it would be hard to forget. But we’re all ready to make some new memories with our team.
Today, the Phillies closed the book on the past. They’re ready to boldly stride into their future.