When Juan Uribe homered off Ryan Madson in the eighth inning to give the Giants the lead, "it was like the air got sucked out of this place," said Brad Skiles, 42, a fan from Haddonfield. "It changed the mood of this game." His friend Matt Franklin, 43, of Avondale, nodded solemnly.
"It's tough to come back from that," Franklin said.
And in the end, impossible.
Skiles looked out at the field glumly.
"They're getting all the breaks," he said of the Giants. "Last year, that was us."
Still, the sellout crowd gave it their all.
The biggest target of lifelong fan Lori Clark's venom? Pat Burrell, whom she once gave a standing ovation upon the ex-Phil's return to Philadelphia in a San Francisco Giants uniform.
"Booooooo," Clark, 54, of Hulmeville, Bucks County, said. "Because of his mouth to Doc. Uh-uh. No way, pal." Burrell drew Phillies fans' ire when, during Game 5, he glared at pitcher Roy Halladay and had some choice, explicit words for him.
Clark stood in the right-field bleachers, waving a sign she had made: "No Fat Lady Tonight!"
She's been a Phillies fan as long as she can remember, so long that her first memories of a Phillies game involve her parents jamming pennies into the cracks of seats at Connie Mack Stadium because Clark was too little to keep her seat weighted down.
She has attended countless games in her life, but she knew this one was especially important, Clark said.
"I'm so glad they brought it home to Philly," she said.
In Ashburn Alley, friends Jack Dautrich and Matthew Soderberg, both 11, of Wayne, tried their best. "Ross Ain't Boss," read Dautrich's sign, a nod to the Giants' Cody Ross, who swung a hot bat. "Choke: Official Soda of the Giants," read Soderberg's.
"We were going to write, 'Buster Poser,' " said Soderberg, whose father, Jeff Soderberg, won a lottery that let him buy tickets for the boys' first playoff game. Ultimately, the friends decided not to target Buster Posey, the Giants' catcher.
There was no doubt in the boys' mind that their screams, claps, and fist pumps helped the Phillies along, especially early, when they jumped to a 2-0 lead.
"They hear us," Dautrich said. "And it gives them more motivation."
As the innings wore on, though, hope grew harder to find.
"We're in quicksand," said Bill Simms, 43, of West Philadelphia. "We're in cement. We're stuck." The man next to him, Ed Lindsey, 62, of Springfield, Delaware County, refused to believe it.
"We're OK, we're OK," Lindsey said. His murmurs sounded like a prayer that went unanswered.
You could call Martha Tumavitch a serious fan, from her diamond "P" necklace to her cream-colored shirt and pants, embroidered with balls and bats.
Tumavitch, 57, of Scranton, canceled her vacation to attend every Phillies playoff game she could get tickets to.
"It's worth the money," Tumavitch said. "We live and die with the team. They're our life." At the end of the night, Tumavitch was solemn. And ultimately, instead of going to Game 7 and looking forward to the World Series, she just went home.
Contact staff writer Kristen Graham at 215-854-5146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.