More than 45,000 passionate Phillies fans armed with rally towels were standing, screaming, waving despite holding their breath, suffering from rapid heart beats and knots in their stomachs. Washington had the bases loaded with one out and trailing, 4-3, in the top of the ninth against Brad.
Could anything be more dramatic?
You could hear the outcome of the game by the explosive roar: “Ground ball up the middle, Rollins dives, flips the ball to Chase, throw to first…..DOUBLE PLAY!
Players celebrated on the field, Charlie watched from the dugout, players went into the clubhouse for the bubbly explosion and then back to the field.
An emotionally drained Charlie remained his office, speaking with a hand full of reporters. When the crowd began to chant, “Charlie, Charlie, Charlie”, he came out for a curtain call. Since he took over as manager, he’s managed one meaningless game when we were eliminated in game #161 two years ago.
Final out was 6:40 p.m. Final player off the field was 8:01 p.m. Final celebrations throughout Phillieville? Who knows?
Power, starting pitching, air tight bullpen have been the keys to this club. Yesterday, defense stepped up big time. Rollins had three ESPN web gem highlight plays: a two-out, one-hop smash that almost took off his head (saved a run); a catch of a pop to shallow center on which he and Shane collided (saved a bigger inning) and his diving stop that turned the season-ending double-play.
That DP will go down in Phillies history as one of the most memorable moments, joining Dick Sisler’s pennant-winning homer in 1950 and Tug McGraw’s strikeout that ended the 1980 World Series.
Brad finished an undefeated season, 41 saves in 41 opportunities. He’s human, and like all closers, will get tagged with a blown save. It happens but it didn’t this season for the right-hander.
While the players celebrated with the fans at the park, each made a point: “We’ve got more work to do.”