October 23 Philadelphia Daily News:
“IF YOU WANT to be a truly great team, you have to win no matter the obstacle. You have to win when a lesser team might give in to a situation that, from the outside, seems too difficult.
There is a champion every year. Greatness comes to those teams that do it over time.
These Phillies won the last game in 2008. They will always have that World Series. They won the 2009 National League pennant. They have won those four consecutive Eastern Division championships. They have won six playoff series in the last 3 years.
This group of players is really on the cusp of greatness. To get there, they need to beat the Giants tonight at Citizens Bank Park (7:57 start time). And they need to beat San Francisco again tomorrow night. Then, they need to beat the Texas Rangers in next week’s World Series. That would qualify as true sports greatness.
The 2010 Phillies need to win six more games. What has made them so special is they just try to win the next pitch, the next at-bat, the next moment. Win enough of those moments and you get another chance at winning the last game.
It helps that the Phillies will start Roy Oswalt in Game 6 against the Giants‘ terrific lefty Jonathan Sanchez. Oswalt has never lost at CBP – not with Houston, not with the Phillies. And Oswalt owned Game 2 in this National League Championship Series.
Oswalt said he would have no issues coming back after throwing 18 ninth-inning pitches in Wednesday’s numbing Game 4 loss. He wanted the ball that night. And he wants it now.
“I didn’t want to get the loss, for sure,” Oswalt said yesterday afternoon in the Phillies‘ media room. “But you never know when you’re going to get back here. So that’s one of the reasons I wanted to be in the game the other night. I don’t know how much longer I’m going to play. [I] may not get to this spot again. So I’m going to try to do everything possible to get to that final game.”
After an overnight flight from San Francisco, Phils manager Charlie Manuel had a ton of adrenaline. When asked whether he was confident in Oswalt, Manuel responded with an 872-word stream of consciousness answer that began with this: “Yes, I’m confident with that. But what I think about it, like our philosophy, I preach it every day, and sometimes I think it’s got to sound boring to people because when you come to the ballpark we come to the ballpark on that day to win that game.”
That is this team. And that is why Oswalt, the perfect final piece for another potential championship team, is the perfect pitcher for a game that has to be won.
“I try to pitch every game like it’s the last one,” Oswalt said. “You never know, you’re never guaranteed the next day. So it’s going to be no different. Trying to attack hitters and make them beat me, not trying to put guys on. No different than any other game. It’s a must-win game, but I treat every one of them like a must-win.”
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