On the same afternoon but in a very different place, the Red Sox - after losing again, losing by 1-0, the only run scoring on a suicide squeeze - were pleading for some patience from the paying customers as they prepared to leave Cleveland and return to Boston for the home opener.
"We need 'em," said second baseman Dustin Pedroia, according to the Boston Herald. "We need someone on our side. Carl [Crawford] and [Kevin Youkilis] and J.D. Drew, they were getting yelled at the whole time. It'll be good to have someone cheering for us for a change.
"You're either two feet in now or you're two feet out. Let us know now, because we're coming."
Phillies, 5-1. Red Sox, 0-6. And one can only imagine what it might be like if the two feet were on the other foot.
This is not about the teams themselves, not about major league players who either manage to embrace the it's-a-long-season mantra or die in that failure. This is one of those platitudes that they all mouth because it happens to be true. As Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said, "I think it's pretty important that you get off to a good start because you don't ever want to start behind. At the same time, 5-1, that's a good record but, believe me, that can vanish real quick."
Manuel, if you haven't noticed the last few days, is all about not jinxing anything. He really doesn't want to talk about how well anybody is doing, even though pretty much all of them are doing well. Ryan Howard is hitting .480 with eight RBI. Placido Polanco is hitting .440 with eight RBI. Wilson Valdez had four hits yesterday against the Mets and is hitting .429 while playing in place of the injured Chase Utley.
And Manuel would prefer to talk about the weather.
"Even keel," he said. "Don't get too high, don't get too low, just keep playing. I just leave my guys alone and let them go out there and see what they can do when they're playing good."
It is the underdiscussed benefit of a 5-1 start. The pressure of expectations was potentially suffocating this season for the Phillies - and there still is a long way to go, obviously enough. The booing of Cole Hamels the other night after his rough outing was the first manifestation of those expectations. An 0-6 start for the Phillies would have been cacophonous.
For the people in the seats, a bad first week jump-starts the process of questioning assumptions - a painful, sometimes-anguished process because it involves asking yourself, "Was I wrong?" People hate when their teams make them do that after a week. They often hate it loudly.
Because of that, a winless week to start a season is different than a winless week in July - it just is. This year, the Phillies don't have to find out how different.
"I think the important thing is just continuing to go out and play every game, trying to win," said Halladay, yesterday's starter, who allowed no runs and seven hits in seven innings. "Whether you're 1-5 or 5-1, it shouldn't affect how you go out and play. I don't think anybody's getting too caught up in it. We've got a tough series coming up [at Atlanta, the presumptive NL East challenger]. You go out and try to win every single day and let everything kind of play out."
Early days, then. The tough times are almost certain to come, but it is so much easier this way. After the game, somebody asked Polanco if he was at all surprised at how exceptionally well the Phillies were hitting - .353 as a team, with a .905 OPS - given the absence of Utley (and Jayson Werth, now with the Nationals).
"Surprised?" Polanco said. "I wouldn't say surprised. We all know the game goes that way sometimes."
The Red Sox need to be saying the same thing, and everybody knows it. The problem is getting anyone to listen, given the noise all around them - because there is nothing louder than the silence of 0-6, unless it is 0-7.
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