First off, congrats to the Phillies on making the World Series. It sickens me to my core as a Mets fan, but have to give credit where credit is due. They have been red hot and Bryce Harper is a monster. I think the Astros will win in 5, but no one expected the Phillies to be here, so have to tip my cap to them.
I was lucky enough to go down to Philly on Saturday for Game 4 of the NLCS. I am in NYC so it was a fairly quick drive down. I had been to Philly before, but only in passing. I drove from NYC to Washington D.C once and stopped in Philly for a couple hours where we took photos at the Rocky steps and drove past the Liberty Bell. As a massive baseball fan, I was just ecstatic to see some live playoff baseball. After the Citi Field turned into a Spirit Halloween store on October 9, I thought my chances of seeing another baseball game live in 2022 were finished. However, the Fightins proved me wrong.
Here's a recap of my trip:
Spartaro's Cheesesteaks at Reading Market
This was actually my first ever Philly cheesesteak. I know, I know, pretty pathetic. However, it lived up to all my expectations. This was a top 3 food item I've ever eaten. The ratio of the bread, onion, cheese and steak was perfect and I was full for about 9 hours afterwards. I know everyone talks about Geno's and Pat's, but this place was insane and highly recommend if you're ever in Philly.
We walked around Broad Street after the cheesesteaks and walked around the City Hall area. After working off the cheesesteaks and doing some light shopping, we headed to Citizens Bank. I was also doing some intense scoreboard watching. I went 4-1 on my HouseEnterprise picks and ROLL WAVE.
Anyway, the Philly stadium setup is elite. All the stadiums and arenas are all next to each other and then there is a building called Xfinity Live which is the MECCA of all sportsbars. There are 700 televisions and a Sportsbook connected to the building.
The line was massive outside XFinity because it's basically the entire city of Philly who don't have tickets to the game. Instead of waiting in line, there was a carnival/fair going on outside the stadium. I got to watch the Yankees go out in sad fashion on the big screen outside Citizens Bank.
After the sun went down, it was game time. It was a late start, even for a MLB playoff game. 1st pitch went down around 7:50 PM EST.
I was up in the 400s, but the view was pretty sweet. The collection of rally towels and red across the stadium was insane. What was even more insane was the 1st inning. I don't think I have ever seen such a pathetic pitching effort from both teams. The Phillies went down 4-0. They pulled their starting pitcher in the 1st inning, he went 0.2 IP and gave up 8 hits. After they pulled him, it became an insane bullpen game. The vibes in the stadium were low when it was 4-0. When Manny Machado hit his solo bomb, I had never heard a stadium go so quiet.
Luckily for the Phillies, the Padres pitcher was GARBAGE. Jeez, he really couldn't throw a strike. It was tough to watch at some points. The Phillies were able to claw back and after nearly an hour long 1st inning, the Phillies were only down 1 run.
In the middle of a tie game with Soto up to bat, I went to the bathroom. Some might say "SMH Gracie, thats so lame." Well when you gotta go, you gotta go. As I was sitting in the bathroom stall I hear on the radio call, "JUAN SOTO 2 RUN HOMER THE PADRES LEAD 6-4." I'm thinking to myself, "Are you f**king kidding me?" I walked out of the bathroom in disgust and looked out into the Philly sports arena skyline where I noticed the Wells Fargo arena, where the Sixers (0-3) play. The Sixers lost that night across the street, but no one seemed to care.
I get back to my seat and the the vibes again are pretty deflated in the stadium. However, down but not out.
This Phillies team is resilient. They have a lot of heart, unlike a team in Queens watching from their couches right now. The Phillies never gave up and put on an incredible rally in the bottom of the 5th. They put up 4 runs in the bottom of the 5th and then 1 in the 6th and 1 in the 7th. It was a total team effort and I was blown away.
In the top of the ninth, the Phillies led 10-6 and the place was rocking. The entire top of the 9th, no one sat down. The rally towels were waving and the crowd was electric. I was able to get a sick video of when the game went final, and the Phillies were one win away from the World Series.
It was probably the best baseball game I've ever seen live. While they will have a big test against the Astros, their improbable run has to be respected. Great trip to the city of Brotherly Love
Astros in 5.