There was passion in the roar of the faithful on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Ballpark And with the properly cocked ear, there was anxiety.
The Phillies plucked homefield advantage from the Rays by winning Game 1 of the World Series at Tropicana Field on Wednesday. And though they lost Game 2 when their woes with runners in scoring position (1-for-28) compounded themselves, they'd made the Series, in effect, a best-of-five with three at home. But they've seen this one before in this town of full throats and empty trophy cases.
This is Philadelphia. This is the Phillies and something always seems to go wrong, sometimes to historical proportions.
Consider: The Phillies are the only franchise to twice lose four straight games in a World Series after winning the opener. They captured Game 1 of the 1983 World Series at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore behind a 72/3-inning five-hitter from John Denny and a go-ahead homer by Garry Maddox in the eighth, then returned up Interstate 95 with the heady thought of winning two titles in four years. Instead, they allowed one run in the sixth and two in the seventh to lose Game 3, 3-2. The winning run scored with two outs on an error by shortstop Ivan DeJesus.
Game 4 was another one-run loss, 5-4 and the Orioles closed it out, 5-0, with two homers and three RBIs from Eddie Murray. Phillies Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt batted .050 in the Series.
The 1915 Phillies did the same thing, though chances are no one in the stands wasstill feeling that sting Saturday night.
The three-run ninth in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series, ended by a two-run homer by Joe Carter off Mitch Williams, that's in there, though. That's the Phillies' last World Series appearance. The Phillies are 1-5 in their last six World Series games in Philadelphia and the 126-year-old franchise still trails the Athletics (which left for Kansas City after the 1954 season) 20-14, in Series games hosted in Philadelphia.
"I kind of feel like I owe it to the city," said starting pitcher Brett Myers. "It would be huge for the city, for that city, especially, because it is so long since they've had a championship.
"Some cities got spoiled over it, and they quit coming to games and stuff like that. And in Atlanta, their attendance isn't as big as ours right now. They want us to win."