I've decided to be that guy; the one who keeps the faith. Echoing Kevin Millar before Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, my message to the Giants is clear: Don't let us win tonight.
It's been a tough series for us. Bad managing. Bad hitting with RISP. Less-than-dominant starting pitching. Meanwhile, the Giants are hot and hungry. They have a patchwork team with a lot of talent (underrated actually), plenty of experience, and probably the best 1-2-3-4 rotation in baseball --- yeah, I said it. I thought this series would be tough and never really understood why the Giants were being presented as a cakewalk.
But with all of that said, if we can win tonight, we can do it. We'd have Games 6 and 7 in Philly with our backs against the wall. The crowd will be loud, distractive, supporting, etc. We'll have Oswalt and Hamels on the hill. We'll have stopped the momentum by beating the Giants in San Francisco. We won't have to face Lincecum again. We'll be the 2-time defending NL champions on our own turf, daring the opposition to take the crown from us.
I waited too long to see the Phillies play competitive baseball. I became a fan in 1990 and saw 2 winning seasons in my first 13. Not 2 playoff seasons. Two winning seasons. It was rough caring so much about a team that drew 12,000 fans to an astroturf-laden dump of a stadium. It was hard being out of the race by June 1. It was tough being that told that Chad Ogea was an acceptable #2 starter, or that Rex Hudler was our big off-season acquisition.
My point is simple. It isn't hard for me to stay upbeat. I know how bad things can get for a baseball fan --- and this ain't it. So to all of you who have forgotten or simply didn't care enough when the going was tough, I'm pulling rank. I'm tired of the head-hanging and the bitching. To our fans, keep the faith. To the team, relax and stay poised like experienced champions should. To the Giants, don't let us win tonight.
In the best and worst of times, Go Phillies!