Red October: Phillies season in retrospect


We weren’t supposed to make it this far. The Phillies got off to a 22-29 record and therefore had to fire former manager Joe Girardi on June 3rd. Many analysts believed that the Phillies needed someone to pin this mediocrity on. 

Well obviously something changed, with the hiring of now full time manager Rob Thomson, the Phillies finished the season 87-75, the highest it has been since 2011. Rob Thomson ignited a spark in the locker room with bats like JT Realmuto and Kyle Schwarber being major difference makers in the last 4 months of the regular season. The Phillies went 65-46 in that stretch, with help from Kyle Schwarber’s monster June, smashing 12 homers and driving in 27 RBIs. Schwarber would go on to lead the NL in home runs with 47 and winning a silver slugger at his position. 

The Phillies playoff hopes and dreams were realized and died in Houston. For the first time since 2011 the Phillies were heading to the postseason with a win in Houston. This came after years of rebuilding and spending heaps of cash on big names like Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler in free agency. With the Phillies down 2-0 in the bottom of the 9th inning the self named “Daycare” rallied, behind Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott’s key RBIs to put the team ahead. The Phillies, despite their payroll, have fostered their youth players—Alec Bohm, Bryson Stott and Matt Vierling—into rising stars. 

The Phillies would then go on to win the series 2-0 and advance on to the NLDS. They then faced the reigning World Series champion Braves whose roster was stacked from top to bottom. The braves—led by star rookies Micheal Harris and Spencer Strider—quickly became favorites for a repeat NLDS championship. The Phillies took a game in Atlanta unexpectedly, giving the team momentum for Philly where they won both games. The Phillies absolutely decimated Spencer Strider for four straight innings where he gave up 5 runs. This then gave  the Phillies momentum heading into their next series, where players like Bryce Harper were  able to shine. 

As Bryce Harper stepped into the box, down 3-2 in game 5 against the Padres things looked bleak. The rain was pouring hard on the crowd, making the whole stadium gloom. One swing changed everything. Bryce’s two run homerun over the left field wall is a moment we won’t forget in Philly sports history anytime soon. The swing put us up 4-3 on the Padres and closed the series which sent the Phillies to the World Series for the first time since 2009. 

 The entire city was invested in the team. This started a chain of celebrations, parties and crazy things that only happen in Philly; but that’s what Philly sports is all about, the players rallying around the city and fans pushing us to greater things.

While the Phillies fell short of their goal, losing 4-2 in the World Series to the Astros, it’s good to reflect on how far the team has come and where it was only 5 months prior. Going into the offseason the Phillies have already made major moves signing Trea Turner to a massive deal. Philadelphia can say with certainty they’re extremely excited about the team in 2023. The new signings and previous success have Philly fans on the edge of their seats—ready for another Red October.