Philadelphia is a notoriously tough place to play, as the Astros discovered Tuesday night. With Houston in town, Philadelphia’s competitive fire seemed to be burning at an especially hot temperature with Angelo’s Pizzeria and Mike’s BBQ—both South Philly institutions—stonewalling the Astros by denying their catering requests, telling the American League Champs to kick rocks. This hostility may stem from disrespect shown by Justin Verlander upon his arrival earlier this week, inexplicably giving the Phillies bulletin board material by flipping fans the middle finger (smooth move for a guy with a lifetime 6.07 ERA in the Fall Classic).
Hospitality be damned, this is the World Series. We’ve arrived at the ruthless intersection of gamesmanship and pettiness, where even the smallest competitive advantage, whether it’s the energy provided by fans (no doubt emboldened by copious amounts of liquid courage consumed hours earlier at Xfinity Live, ground zero for Philly sports lawlessness) or making the Astros sweat for their postgame spread, can make a tangible difference. So forgive Angelo’s and Mike’s for being less than accommodating toward the visitors, staying true to their Philly sports fandom at all costs.
Delayed 24 hours by the previous night’s downpour, Game 3 was well worth the wait with Philadelphia pouncing on Astros starter Lance McCullers, who was lit up for five homers over 4 1/3 disastrous innings as the Phillies continued their winning ways, cruising to a 7-0 victory at Citizens Bank Park. Remarkably, the Phillies find themselves two wins away from a coveted world championship, this in spite of logging just 87 regular-season victories, 19 fewer than the team they dominated Tuesday night. Not to get ahead of ourselves, but if all breaks right, the Phillies will have a chance to clinch their third title in franchise history Thursday night, ironically the same night the Texans host the undefeated Eagles at NRG Stadium in Houston.
UPDATE: Mike’s BBQ addressed the incident in a subsequent Instagram post, clarifying that the Astros were not refused service and that the restaurant has catered for plenty of visiting teams in the past including division rivals. Apparently, the Astros confused Mike’s for another area restaurant (they’re not even open on Tuesdays), a misunderstanding the popular barbecue joint had hoped to make light of, sharing the screengrab in jest.
LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy Sports
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram