Commentary: In Crazy Times, Pragmatism Prevails

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, October 28, 2008 09:01 AM | Comments: 115

This morning I wrestled with myself …

My emotional side found the rain delay and game suspension to be exactly the event that occurs against Philadelphia. The 1977 rain that played its part in finishing the Phils against the Dodgers. The Fog Bowl. Etc. Etc.

I thought, “That’s it. This is the moment we look at for years. We had a 3-1 lead, the rain came, it slowed everything down, we lost.”

I thought that the Rays now had momentum, seemed chipper and carefree about the whole charade. And Joe Maddon spoke to the media, while Charlie Manuel refused. Phils players in the locker room cursed Bud Selig. They’re unfocused, I thought. This sucks.

Then my pragmatic side stepped in, and told me that’s utter nonsense. They’ll be focused when they have to play, I thought. And this team is not 1977, or the Fog Bowl Eagles, or whatever. We’ve seen all season that this team gets the job done when they need to.

The Phillies have been in hairy situations before, and while this situation seems the most absurd of them all, it won’t deter the team from doing its deed.

Here’s what we know, for sure: The Phillies and Rays are tied in the bottom of the sixth. Cole Hamels is out of the game (though I don’t know how much longer he would’ve had anyway). The Phils need to score one run in the next 12 outs, while preventing the Rays from scoring one run in their next nine.

We also know the Phillies bullpen has been tremendous all season and postseason. And we can expect a combination of Chad Durbin/Scott Eyre/JC Romero/Ryan Madson/Brad Lidge to get the final outs.

We also know the Rays have Grant Balfour pitching, but can bring in anyone, including David Price. But we know the Phils have hit the Rays bullpen so far, including Price.

Look, things may seem bleak and confusing now. That’s nature. That’s how we’re conditioned to act. But when it gets down to it, the Phils are at the advantage. They have more chances to hit. They have the home field. They can shake off the pressure and play their game as well as possible. So what that Hamels is out? One man does not a 25-man roster make. And if any team has proved it this season, it’s the Phillies.

Let the Rays have their 9=8 philosophy. I got one for us: 3=W. For the next three full innings, play the best damn baseball you can, and you will win. And then we can celebrate the world championship. And I know we will.

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About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1947 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 BrewTownPhilsPhan

    Tim, I mean this in the most manly way possible:

    I love you, man!

  • Posts: 0 bigmyc

    Hey, bravo, Tim. Bravo.

    Great posting…it nicely sums it all up. I feel better already. It’s not this team that I worry about, it’s the crazy circumstances that we have to face as a sports town be it super hot goalies in tournament time, cheating signal stealing Football dynasties, Pea soup thick Lake Michigan fog, Joe Carter and now THIS little fit from Mother Nature….

    But I agree, if there is a team that can man up over it, it would be these guys.

  • Posts: 0 Dave

    Tim, this is why your blog is great.

    I have absolute faith that the Phillies will win the rest of this game. There’s no doubt in my mind.

    I just feel it is beyond ridiculous that they went out for the sixth inning in the first place. They allowed Tampa to tie the game without giving the Phillies the same opportunity in the bottom of the inning.

    If Selig was going to put it in a perpetual rain-delay, then why start the 6th at all?

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    MLB was rooting for the Rays just so they could delay the game. As long as the Phils were winning they were going to keep playing. I’m worried about david price pitching 4 or 5 innings (he’ll be on 4 days rest).

    Are they even going to get the game in tonight in Philly? How’s the weather?

  • Posts: 0 Craig

    Weather.com say’s there’ll be rain this all day today.


  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    If it gets rained out today and god forbid this series goes to a game 7, we would then have Hamels starting on a full 4 days rest Saturday night right?

  • Posts: 0 Paul

    Nice post.

    The Phils have an extra 3 outs to get one more run than the Rays.

    It’s not a lost cause at all.

    However, that was very frustrating last night.

  • Posts: 0 Mike N

    Wouldn’t surprise me if we see only Madson and Lidge. Maybe Romero if there’s a lefty up in the eighth.

  • Posts: 0 MikeJG529

    Everybody should be available to pitch except for Hamels. 9 outs is all we need. No saving Myers for game 6, we need to go for the jugular now. We’ve shown we can manufacture runs. The Rays had to sleep in Delaware last night, hopefully badly. It will happen tonight.


  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Everyone just needs to take a collective hugh breath and just realize that this game and series WILL be won HERE!!!!

    Btw…….Tim………Can YOU run for President?

  • Posts: 0 Paul


    I think you might be right. If the game rains out today, and is finished tomorrow, I guess it’s possible Hamels could pitch a game 7 on 4 days rest. Not sure if Charlie would do that though.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    You know what? I really hope we don’t play today. I’m way too upset right now to see this game. I bet our players could use the day off to channel their energies and go out full force tomorrow.

  • Posts: 0 Chase Mutley

    I took off work today. It’s funny that I would have dragged myself in if they won, even if they lost. I just feel completely deflated today. Lets hope that remainder of the game gets postponed until Wednesday because if the players are feeling a quarter of what I am, they’ll need today to simmer down.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Paul/NEPA…..I was think the same thing about Hamels in a potential Game 7. How many pitches did he have last night? I think it was relatively low. But……seriously……it’s NOT gonna go 7………NOT even 6. We win it HERE!!

  • Posts: 0 Greg V.

    I would have taken a win or a loss better than I’m taking this! This is absolutely horrible!

  • Posts: 0 Ben

    When it was 2-1 I was definitely thinking to myself that 2 runs is not going to win this game. So in my opinion the game is exactly where it should be. They have an extra 3 outs on the Rays. If anything that at least means someone’s gonna get 2 ABs. We all know the game wasn’t going to be shortened no matter what. So the Phillies find themselves in a situation they’ve been in a lot this year. Close game late and one of the best bullpens in baseball. AND they can still get Hamels the win. Go Phillies!!!

  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    Chuck, it doesn’t matter how many pitches he had last night. He would be on full rest.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Yeah, I hope it’s tomorrow. I need some sleep tonight anyway as I’m sure the players do. Weather looks real bad. Just talked to a buddy who said it’s snowing in Willow Grove. Jesus!!

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    NEPA…if he pitches Friday it’s short rest. The only way it would be full is if Game 7 was played on Sat.

  • Posts: 0 Joe Green

    Current weather.com forecast – at 8pm ET tonight – 50% chance of showers – 41 degrees – feels like 31 degrees – wind from WNW @ 25 mph.

    Would Bud Selig dare to move on to games 6 and 7 in Tampa Bay and play the rest of this game 5 if necessary in Philadelphia on Saturday?

  • Posts: 0 NC Jason

    Hamels was around 71 pitches last night

  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    Agreed. I am not ready to watch this game tonight. Let the weather settle down and play it Wednesday, or even Thursday if you have to. Make the Rays hang out in the North as long as possible and get Hamels rested in case we need him. Haha, I also think there’s a part of me that just doesn’t want this season to end. It’s been quite a ride.

  • Posts: 0 Dennis

    It’s been snowing pretty steadily for about 3 hours up here in Chalfont, just north of Willow Grove. Another incentive to win this thing at home, Bud Selig handing that trophy over, when they announce him at CBP, he is going to get killed! 9 outs and 1 run fromt the title! GO PHILS!

  • Posts: 0 NC Jason

    Has MLB come out and said that game 7 would be on Saturday?

  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    Yea Chuck, that’s what we were talking about. If today is rained out and we play the remainder of game 5 tomorrow, then we’re assuming Game 6 and 7 would be Friday and Saturday.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Ben….think about this too. If the game were to to resume in the top 6th with a 2-1 lead, who’s to say the Rays wouldn’t score MORE than one run. Cole did a GREAT job only allowing one run in that inning…..basically w/o his change up either!!

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    NEPA….Iwas under the impression that there would be no day off…meaning that Wed we finish this game……Game 6 Thurs and Game 7 Fri. Have you heard differently?

  • Posts: 0 Joe Green

    Reasons for my theory is that Saturday’s forecast is pretty good and Bud is good for doing the unpredictable.

  • Posts: 0 NC Jason

    There is no guarantee that Saturday would be game 7 – it could be Friday. So I think we all need to root for the rain and hope that everything is pushed back to get Hamels a start in game 7 – IF NEEDED

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Joe….No way that scenario happens…….Even Selig isn’t THAT stupid (at least I hope not)

  • Posts: 0 Brian

    I don’t see them playing tonight. I really hope they don’t. If we’re delayed till Wednesday, Hamels will/should be available for a game 7. He only threw 75 pitches last night.

    If this game was going into a never ending delay it should have been stopped long before it was. IMHO it wasn’t ever going to be stopped if either team had a lead.

  • Posts: 0 NC Jason

    Chuck ~ MLB has not come out with a definite schedule. Here is a link discussing it.


  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    No, I thought that they always gave a day off for traveling. I really don’t know how these type of things are handled.

  • Posts: 0 98Rays

    “MLB rooting for the Rays” what a joke! The fix was in, both Buck and McCarver saw the strikes Kazmir threw called balls, Hamels just has to get close and it’s a strike. The Mo Mo is gone for the Sillies. Look at history Bird fans, any Florida team ever to make the post season has won it all. Pack your bags for Game 7 it’s a lock!


  • Posts: 0 Dennis

    Enough with the lets hope Hamels is available for Game 7 talk! Let’s win at home whenever the hell they decide to play again, we have to win a 3 and half inning game where we get the extra at bat….

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Oh my….the idiot trolls are back

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    The term “Murphy’s Law” must have been coined by a Philly sports fan.

  • Posts: 0 Gavin

    I’m glad someone out there is positive. I just have this sinking “Bartman” feeling in my gut.
    The right thing to do is to go ahead and plan the last 3 games out so that the fans, caoches, and players can lay out their plan. To keep dragging their feet and holding out hoping to play tonight is as stupid as playing last night.
    Go ahead and plan for Game 5 on Wed, Game 6 on Fri and Game 7 on Saturday. I think that is the smart thing to do, but as we know……that doesnt always happen. Whatever Fox wants Fox gets.

  • Posts: 0 Pat

    98Rays, I’ve been watching the game’s on TV and on the MSN feed. I’d agree with you about the strike zone, but I have yet to see it adjusted for any batter or any pitch. How could you say that Burrell or Howard’s zone is the same as Vic’s or Rollins? A pitch at Vic’s knees (strike) would be below Burrell’s (ball).

  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    Did anyone else feel physically ill last night? I’m sure most.

  • Posts: 1650 Tim Malcolm

    Avatar of Tim Malcolm

    To be honest, I actually didn’t feel the game at all. I was at a new bar, kinda weird, and the noise was drowning things out, and I didn’t feel completely up to snuff. And when the rain started I began to doubt things. Just wasn’t a good thing.

    I’ll actually contend that the BEST THING may be that this game stopped at 2-2.

  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    I was feeling it in the early innings. We were up 2-0, Cole was cruisin’. Then the rain started coming down harder and from there it just got progressively worse.

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Ah, no wonder this happened-the jinxtress Sarah Palin is just up the road in Hershey, Pa.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Oh man, I wasn’t feeling this game at all yesterday, Tim. The rain also gave doubts though I also tried to imagine Brett Myers rolling in the mud celebrating… I think we all got too ahead of ourselves.

    And I agree with Gavin: go ahead and set this game for Wednesday night. I think that part of what’s killing us right now is that everything is up in the air. The players, the fans, the manager all need to know what’s gonna happen with this Series NOW.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Absolutely Tim……Hamels got out of the 6th only giving up one run in those conditions……pretty remarkable!!

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Georgie……oh yeah….there’s a major election next Tues. Maybe the Rays can adopt cute little Sarah as their good luck charm……she can be a……..”Baseball Mom.”

  • Posts: 0 NEPA

    I think the thing that made it so tough last night was the fact that we still had the lead with 2 outs, nobody on. All of a sudden, single – stolen base – RBI single – Tie Game. It wouldn’t have been so bad but the Phils had no immediate chance at a rebuttal. Now we have to wait a day or 2 for our chance to get back at them, all while having this bad taste in our mouths.

  • Posts: 0 Paul

    I agree Tim.

    Once the rain started I began to get nervous. It was probably a good thing that the game stopped when it was. (However… the game probably should have never started to begin with)

    The delay can easily derail any momentum that the Rays may have gotten last night.

  • Posts: 0 Ben

    Thats exactly what I’m talking about Chuck. Hamels really stepped up his game again and got out of that inning. He easily could have imploded in that situation with the conditions. Phillies just need to come out and put the pressure on.

    In the end, I don’t care when the game is played. Today or tomorrow. Just as long as the Phils win.

  • Posts: 0 adam

    whenever this thing starts the phils bullpen will dominate and someone (i say that because everyone has contributed at some point) will get the clutch hit and win us a WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP!

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