As fans, its been really difficult to watch the Phillies throughout the last half of August as the Major League Baseball playoff race heats up; they’re falling behind in both the National League East and the National League Wild Card standings. When the 2018 MLB season began, the Phillies hit the ground running and were either around or atop first place in their division through the beginning of August. Within their recent struggles however, there is something really important to remind yourself as a Philadelphia Phillies fan, this is something we’ve seen once before.
In September 2016, the 2016-17 NFL Season was getting started and our beloved Philadelphia Eagles were rolling out a very young and inexperienced club, led by a rookie and players who were still finding their way in the league. When the season began the Birds looked as if they were one of the best teams in the National Football League, they started out 3-0 with a dominant win over an extremely good Pittsburgh Steelers squad, they went 3-1 before Lane Johnson’s 10 game suspension for Performance Enhancing Drugs. After a tremendous start to the season, the Eagles went through a number of one possession losses and a could bad losses; they finished the season with a record of seven wins and nine losses and no playoff berth.
The Phillies have shown much of this over the last leg of the season. They still have a possibility of winning the National League East division, but loss by loss they’re slowly falling behind. However, they have 7 showdowns left against the Atlanta Braves-who are the division leaders by four and a half games. Since the trade deadline the Fightins have played around .500 baseball, maybe even less, leading to them falling behind in the standings; to make it worse, since the trading deadline is when they’ve had more playoff-seasoned veterans on the club. That may have been General Manager Matt Klentak’s biggest mistake. Unlike the 2016 Eagles, who played young guys throughout the season, the Phillies have limited some of their young players like Scott Kingery, Jorge Alfaro and Nick Williams’ roles while bringing in players like Asdrubel Cabrera, Wilson Ramos, and Jose Bautista. For one point, the team was thriving and winning more with the younger line-ups playing; and for another, taking them out during the playoff hunt could possibly hurt in the future when they’re lacking the experience they would’ve earned this season.
All in all, there have been really good things shown by the Phillies throughout this 2018 season. Assuming they’re unable to clinch a spot in the postseason, this year wasn’t a disappointment for this team; they showed numerous bright spots, along with what needs to be improved. Much like the Eagles after learning they needed to put more offensive weapons around Carson Wentz for the 2017 season. Maybe the Phillies can bring in a top free agent in the winter. Maybe that player is very familiar with them, and possibly in the same division.