The Phillies were very hot; could they win the NL East?
The Philadelphia Phillies
Looking throughout the MLB’s history, the Phillies are an interesting team. They have had great stretches throughout their time as a franchise resulting in two world series banners. But in the past decade, the team has struggled to get past being average. They have struggled to really dominate the diamond and be in control of their destiny, often relying on others losing even to make the post-season. Outside of last year, they haven’t had a winning season in a decade. But things could be looking up for them, here’s why.
The Rough Start
So before we get to the good-looking, we must start with the ugly. The Phillies started the season at 21-29. While that isn’t necessarily awful, their division and expectations were expecting far more from them. People believed this team could be a dark horse to end up in the world series this year, and they were drastically underperforming. So, when a team struggles, there are a few reasons to consider why that is. These are primarily the manager, batters not hitting, or the pitchers not pitching well.
For the Phillies, it almost seemed like a mix of all of them. Just underwhelming performances from the entire organization and team. But they needed to blame someone or do something, and fans had grown tired of former manager Joe Girardi. So what happened? He got the boot. It seemed like a due move that had finally come to fruition. There was only one question, who’d replace him?
The Era Of “Philly Rob”
Rob Thompson was brought up to fill Girardi’s spot as the new manager. But who exactly was this guy? Would he be any good? Well, lucky for Phillies fans, he was excellent from the get-go. Thompson started his tenure as the manager with a nine-game win streak. The organization’s longest win streak since their 2011 season, where they won 102 games. Phillies fans were ecstatic. They knew their team always had potential, but they were finally up to it. The batters were hitting well as Bryce Harper looked like he could win the MVP back-to-back years, and the pitching staff got a lot better as Corey Knebel stepped up and became solid as the team’s primary closer.
The struggle for them now remains in their division. They are a strong team, but their division is loaded. They are with the Marlins, with two of baseball’s best pitchers in Pablo Lopez and Cy Young award candidate Sandy Alcantara. Washington has MLB’s next all-time great in Juan Soto (at least for a while). Then Atlanta saw the Phillies’ nine-game streak and raised them 14 games. Then the division leaders currently are the New York Mets. Who, when healthy, have the MLB’s best pitching rotation led by two familiar foes in Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. The division is loaded, so it’ll be fun to see what Rob Thompson is made of later down the stretch.
Where Are The Phillies Headed?
Well, I’m sure you’d have numerous different opinions in terms of how far they can go, but for me, I only see them getting to the wild card game. The Phillies, on paper, are a great team, but as I previously mentioned, they are the definition of mid. Bryce Harper is great, but Hoskins, Realmuto, and Schwarber are unreliable.
We saw it last year. Not to mention, Castellanos will only be good if there is a tragedy on the same day. I can’t see them escaping the wildcard game with their weak pitching staff and unproven post-season roster. There is also a solid zero percent chance they win their division. I don’t see it as possible for them to make the run required, to be contenders. At least before trading for a trustworthy, consistent ace pitcher and probably a few relievers.