Here’s how attainable the eighth seed in the East is: About two weeks ago, the entire Sixers team invited Charles Barkley to dinner at Brett Brown’s house. Barkley addressed the players, and told them that as a Sixers alum, he would be rooting for them, according to sources who were there. How nice! Barkley followed up by declaring he would mock them every Thursday on TNT if they missed the playoffs. Everyone roared.
The next night, the crowd of 19,859, as well as the people in the press box and both dugouts, sat mesmerized as Hill skillfully worked his way through the Pirate order. He lost a perfect game on an error in the ninth, but he still had a no-hitter as the 0-0 game went into extra innings. Roberts decided to leave him in because his pitch count was still low and a fairy tale was within reach.
But then Josh Harrison led off the 10th with a home run just over the leaping Granderson in left. Everyone in the park was still in a state of disbelief as Hill walked off the field and into the dugout. There was Roberts waiting for him at the bottom of the steps, to tell him how proud he was of him.
“That’s my job,” he said later. “To be there for them.”
The next afternoon, on getaway day, the Dodgers beat the Pirates 5-2. Granderson got things started with a solo blast beyond right field that plopped into the Allegheny, downriver from the Clemente Bridge. It seemed kind of fitting since Granderson was the 2016 winner of baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award.
Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt. — The Dodger Way, quoting from William Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure.”