Stairs’ Way to Seven – Phillies beat Rockies, 7-5

On a day when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Phillies rose from the dead themselves, overcoming an early 5-2 deficit on their way to defeating the Rockies, 7-5.

Hallelujah.

Chan Ho Park struggled, allowing five runs in 3 1/3 innings. But no matter, as Chase Utley tied the game in the top of the eighth with a two-run jack, and Stairs sent another to the heavens and over the fence in the ninth, securing a Phillies victory.

And I missed the whole damn thing, enjoying the festivities of the day and watching the Masters. (Editor’s note: A bunny who lays colorful eggs and puts candy in your basket…I mean, really people? REALLY?) Ah well – a long season it is.

So, let’s do a quick recap here – after six games, or one week of this young season, we’ve already encountered worries over quiet bats, worries over horrendous starting pitching, and worries over Cole Hamels’ elbow (which he insists is fine).

And we’re 3-3. We are, after the first week of the season, exactly where we started.

A gut-wrenching 3-3 though, right?

I mean, to say that the scrutiny on this Phillies season has increased would be an understatement of legendary proportion. We ended the no-booing conversation after 17 minutes of the opening game. After talk that we would give them a flyer for this season, that winning the championship gave them a free pass for an entire year, many began consulting their shrinks after a 1-3 start.

But here we are, 3-3, a gut-wrenched fan base after only 6 games, worn and weathered and praying to the Gods themselves for the health of Hamels elbow.

For you math folks at home, 6 games is 1/27th of the season.

So maybe I’m being a bit dramatic – fact is, however, we could just as easily be staring down an 0-6 start. We’ve dodged some serious bullets here. It’s hard to say what 6 games can teach you about a team, though I would imagine very little. Part of the problem with the beginning of the baseball season is that it comes right during the NCAA Basketball Tournament and the playoff pushes for the NBA and NHL.

Where every game is urgent, necessary, sometimes even do-or-die.

So, as fans, we’re in a state of urgency ourselves, worked up into a frenzy of sudden-death magnitude. We haven’t settled into the ebb and flow of a baseball season, what with its lethargic pace and its themes and story lines and heroes and goats which lazily make themselves known over a long, hot summer. Right now, we’re like a marathon runner who, excited by the gun and the early-race excitement, has taken off a bit more quickly then we should have, has realized we aren’t quite running the race we want to, and starts to slowly slide back into the pace we have worked on.

It’s not our fault – we’re in a different zone as fans right now. We’re taking our Villanova and Flyers and Sixers fandom and transposing it unto our relationship with the Phillies, which really isn’t fair to either them or ourselves.

3-3. You can go negative if you like, citing the putrid start by the starting pitching. You can throw your hands up to the skies in exasperation at the hot-and-cold nature of the lineup thus far. You could pause and note with an air of wisdom and grace that our bullpen has done quite well when called upon, for the most part, duringthis young season. Hell, you could roll your eyes and say, “Damnit Pundit, we’re one week into this friggin’ season – take it easy, man!”

3-3. After one week, we’re back from whence we started. Sure felt like one hell of a long week though, right?

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