SAN FRANCISCO – The 2010 Phillies are the team that drove expectations more than any team in franchise history. It is a big statement, but true. They are the team that managed to convince the two most hard-to-convince cities, Philadelphia and Las Vegas, that they were going to win the World Series. A week ago, the world was sure that a championship was nigh. As the great man sings: High hopes, indeed.
This morning, after a detour to the edge of despair, those hopes remain alive. This morning, in fact, it is possible for the Phillies to look themselves in the mirror and see a team with a real chance – not just a puncher’s chance, but a real and viable chance – to get back to the World Series again.
That is what happens when you win Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, 4-2, over the Giants. For a while, after the Game 4 horror show, it looked as if the whole thing would end up lying in a tumbled, broken mass on the ground. For a while, it seemed that all that remained was the arrival of the coroner, and the final autopsy.
Instead, the Phillies flew home with the same foundation of knowledge, and hope, that they have carried with them for months. Their mantra, after being interrupted by a few screams and screeches over three games at AT & T Park, is intact again and in rhythm.
It goes like this: