Monday, September 08, 2003

Phillies 5, Mets 4

Scoring single runs in the eighth, ninth, and 11th, the Phils came back to beat New York last night and retain their one-game lead over Florida in the wild-card race. Playing a sloppy game in front of a national television audience, Philadelphia notched its first victory of the season after trailing entering the ninth. With the bases loaded, the white-hot Marlon Byrd dropped a Texas leaguer into shallow right over a drawn-in infield to score the winning run.

If you're keeping score, that makes nine wins and just one loss since Larry Bowa's Montreal detonation. And the win pushes the Phillies to 15 games over .500, matching a season best. In other words, it's as if the heinous Milwaukee/St. Louis/Montreal self-destruction never happened.

Much of today's local sports coverage is devoted to various previews of the Eagles' season opener on Monday Night Football against the Buccaneers tonight. As a result, both papers check in with little more than game stories and sidebars noting the Phils' upcoming road trip to Atlanta and Pittsburgh. Sam Donnellon, though, shakes his head and marvels at the Phillies' pluck in today's Daily News. Comparing the team to another institution that somehow manages to keep on keeping on, he writes: "Five decades after she appeared on Ed Sullivan, Cher's still here, still singing, still wearing those clothes that suggest something, but show nothing. A nuclear survivor. Nineteen games left and the Phillies are still here, too. Kicked, stepped on, given up for dead like a bug trapped under a shoe. And still alive."


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