The Phillies hunched over their meals in silence and dressed quickly for their flight to San Diego on Wednesday night. It was the same somber ambiance in the locker room that accompanies any loss.

But underlying the frustration, there was a sense of excitement, a tacit understanding that, although the wrong ending had been written, they had all watched something magical.

And so it was that Jim Thome's explanation of his 11th-inning strikeout with the potential go-ahead run at third and just one out came more in the form of an apology than a catharsis.