Magical Red October and What’s Next
The Phillies started the month of October not very red hot. They were quite cold with a playoff spot slipping out of their grasp. The chances of a Red October were slipping away from Phillies fans, something they had been waiting eleven long years for. But they would sneak into the playoffs with the worst record, last seed, and as the last team to clinch. This all happened with a little help from some teams that were already eliminated from the postseason. The Phillies would stumble in the postseason looking to maybe win the wildcard series.
In the wildcard series the Phillies were looked at as heavy underdogs as they hadn’t looked like a playoff baseball team. That would hold true for most of game 1, as they were down 2-0 in the top of the ninth, and their offense looked bad. That would change as they would rally off six runs in the top of the ninth thanks to a Jean Segura two run single. They wouldn’t look back after that, they would go on to win game 2 thanks to a Bryce Harper homer and a stellar performance from Aaron Nola and the bullpen. They would move on to the next series where they would guarantee a home playoff game meaning the Phillies would have a home playoff game. A Red October was truly returning to Philadelphia, hopefully the Phillies could feed off that energy.
They would face the defending World Series Champion Atlanta Braves in the NLDS. The Phillies would feed off that energy coming out hot from the gates and win the first game meaning they would play at least two games in Philadelphia. They would lose the second game and head home with a chance to win the series at home in front of a crowd that was more than ready. The team was just as ready as the fans as they would win game three 9 to 1, Atlanta had no chance from the beginning because of the energy of the crowd as it was too much. With one game to go the stadium was buzzing on gameday. An early 4 to 1 lead by the Phillies had the place rocking and they would not look back as they would win 8 to 3.
After Advancing to the NLCS the city would start to believe in this team, a team that wasn’t supposed to make it this far. They were playing a team that had just got the monkey off their back. The San Diego Padres were coming off a series where they beat the Dodgers, a team that has dominated them in recent years. This was expected to be a great series with two teams full of superstar players and it would not disappoint. They would split the first two games of the series, after two crazy games the Phillies would find themselves leading the series 3-1 and a chance to punch their ticket to the World Series in front of their home crowd. The Phillies would find themselves in an interesting spot going into the bottom of the 8th, down one with the heart of their lineup coming up. JT Realmuto, Bryce Harper and company had a chance to do something legendary. Realmuto would hit a single to leadoff the inning, and coming up with a chance to do something legendary was the man the Phillies spent 330 million on and was the face of their franchise, Bryce Harper. A moment that seemed almost too good to be true, your superstar up to bat with the chance to send your team to the World Series. With a 2-2 count Bryce Harper would bring that moment to reality as he would send a 99 mph fastball over the left field wall to put the Phillies ahead 4 to 3 and punch their ticket to the World Series. Before he delivered a legendary moment that will be remembered forever by Phillies fans he dropped a legendary quote before the eighth inning started, “Let’s give them something to remember” and he sure did give us something to remember.
The Phillies would move on to the World Series to face the Houston Astros. The Phillies would be the underdog once again and have to do what seemed to be an impossible task. The Houston Astros were clearly the better team, nothing the Phillies hadn’t dealt with before. They would accomplish the task of splitting the first two games like they had done all postseason and looked to sweep in Philadelphia. After winning game one in Philadelphia they would not win another game and lose the World Series in six games. Even with the loss in the World Series the Phillies had an unbelievable season that was filled with twists and turns and a magical postseason run that no one would forget.
Despite the loss the Phillies have to move on quickly and look towards adding more pieces to the roster next year. They could use help in the middle of their bullpen with multiple guys being free agents this offseason. Starting pitching is something else they have to figure out they can go with one of top pitching prospects in baseball Andrew Painter or they could bring some free agents to secure the backend of the rotation. Finally they need to address the middle infield by bringing in someone who hits for contact to round out the lineup. One other thing they must figure out is long Bryce Harper is out as he scheduled for surgery on his UCL. He is very valuable to the team and if misses an extended amount of time it could be detrimental to this team for next season.
After recapping the postseason, and the tasks of the offseason, we should be excited because of the season the Phillies just had, and what is to come next season where they can hopefully bring the World Series trophy back to Philadelphia.