It was fun while it lasted, but we all knew it would come to an end sometime. The Phillies home sellout streak came to a close yesterday with a total of 257 consecutive games and 273 including the postseason. That means if you were at Sunday’s game like I was, you are now part of history: Game #257. It was the last day of a great era in Phillies baseball.
Jimmy Rollins told the media, “That’s a lot of baseball games. There’s been a lot of winning in that time. Hopefully, they enjoyed it as much as we did.” That last sentence has an air of finality to it, almost like a funeral. It is sad to see it end, although 41,000 people in attendance is still not too shabby.
But if the Phillies want behinds in the seats, they are going to have to show a lot more effort than they did last night in a 6-1 loss to the Braves. The only Phillies run of the game was a solo homer from John Mayberry Jr. The rest of the offense was mostly quiet.
Vance Worley did not have a good night either. Bothered by a tummy bug of some sort, the Vanimal was not his usual animal self. He was pulled after only 3 2/3 innings with 4 runs allowed. The bullpen tacked on 2 more runs later and with the way this team has played all year, there was no recovering from a hole that deep.
It was a fitting end to a game that marked the end of the sellout crowds. But the Phillies still have reasons to play hard this season. The first thing they should be playing for is pride. They should also be stepping it up for the loyal fans that have supported them all these years. No one wants to sit around in 95 degree heat to watch them sleepwalk through a game.
Finally, and sadly, they need to play for 2013 tickets sales. The bottom line, after all, is still the bottom line.