My name is Ethan Mullican and I am a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies. I really got into liking the Phillies back in 2018, so I was there to see the signing of Bryce Harper, the trade for the BCIB (best catcher in baseball) J.T. Realmuto and this year’s signings of Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos. However, all of these moves were offseason signings and trades for a team that hadn’t made the postseason since 2011. Since the Phils are out of my market it is hard to watch most of their games and I don’t pay for subscriptions to MLB premium channels or NBC Sports Philadelphia to watch the games. I’m more of a football fan than a baseball fan so I catch the Phillies when they play on national TV, local teams like the Nationals or when they are on the main MLB Network which I do have. But despite my casual fan status, they had my attention throughout the season.
It started back in June when the Phillies after a 22-29 start, fired manager Joe Girardi. In Girardi’s place came Rob Thomson, “Philly Rob” as the fanbase lovingly calls him and when they make the change, they went off. They had a 11-12 game winning streak at one point in the immediate firing of Girardi and were on a roll. Eventually things kind of slowed down and by the end of September, they were fighting for the last National League Wildcard spot. But let’s not forget, these are the Fightins we’re talking about, so they got the last wild card spot by beating the Houston Astros, eliminating the Brewers from playoff contention. The Phillies had made their triumphant return to the postseason and “Red October” was underway.
Their miraculous run started in the wild card round against the St. Louis Cardinals, who were the NL Central division champions. Their first game in a best of three series saw the Phillies facing a major deficit, and they came back to win, and in the second game of the series; the Phillies defeated the Cardinals and advanced to the National League Divisional Series. Since the first game was in the middle of a weekday, I only caught some of it since I had other things to do, but I made sure to watch the end of the second game and I was there to witness that first win. To me at that point I thought “Ok, so even if they lose next round at least they made it this far,” which I had told myself even before the playoffs to cool my expectations and to stay optimistic, and even now during the World Series I’m still thinking that. But Red October was not done yet.
The same goes for the NLDS and the NLCS, I was watching when I could and was feeling like it because if they were down and losing then I just would rather not see the loss. That happened during game 4 of the NLCS where the Phils were down before I went to bed, but I woke up the
next morning to see they won and then later that day they win the series and advance to the World Series.
So, with that said let’s look at the World Series:
The Phillies started slow here eventually finding themselves down 5-0 at one point around the third inning. I left the game on, but it did not have my attention. It had my attention not long later when I looked up to realize they were now only down 5-3. Then that 2-run deficit became a tie. The rest of that game was pretty wild, where Nick Castellanos gets criticism for striking out on a 3rd out when the bases were loaded costing us runs and then becoming the hero to get the last out in the 9th inning preventing an Astros’ victory. Then in the 10th inning, JT Realmuto blasted a home run giving the Phillies a 6-5 lead that would hold and giving the Phillies a 1-0 series lead in the World Series. Wow.
I went over to visit some family for a Halloween party and to watch the game, but we got a bit preoccupied playing some games, and I was left to checking on the game. Not like I missed anything though since the Phillies lost and I went to bed before the game ended knowing that they wouldn’t win. Series tied: 1-1.
After a rain delay, the Phillies played game 3 in Philly and oh my goodness. If I had to describe this game, I would call it “Home Run Central”. 5, count them, 5 home runs for the Broad Street Bombers. The scoring began with the 2021 NL MVP Bryce Harper. On his first pitch he blasted the ball for a two-run homer getting a run in with him and Kyle Schwarber, more on him in a bit. Then later in the game Alec Bohm ripped one for a solo home run, which was the 1,000th home run in the history of the World Series; it was also Bohm’s first postseason homer. That same inning Brandon Marsh smashed one which barely made it over when a young fan caught the ball but dropped it (he reportedly got a new ball from Nick Castellanos later to make up for the one he missed). It took a few innings for the fun to continue when Wawa hoagie King Kyle Schwarber hit another 2-run homer as part of SCHWARBFEST. The last home run went to Rhys Hoskins giving the Phillies a 7-0 lead which would hold the rest of the game. Phillies up 2-1 in the World Series.
Game 4? There was a game 4? To me, there was as many Game 4s in the 2022 World Series as there were Phillies hits, 0. It was getting to a point where things were just so bad that I had to turn this game off and I read later at the end of the game that the Phillies had NO hits the entire game. That is the second time in the history of the World Series that a team was held to no hits. THE SECOND TIME IN WORLD SERIES HSITORY. No need to go on, series tied 2-2.
The First inning was a mix of emotions. It was a rough start to watch Altuve hit a triple on the first play and to be down 1-0 in the top of the 1st inning but then things looked better when Kyle Schwarber hit a home run at his first at-bat to tie the game 1-1. That score would hold for a bit but I missed some of the game to come back and see they were down 2-1. Again, that score would hold for a few innings and I decide to go to bed. I wake up to see they lost 3-2 and fans were upset. Houston up 3-2. Great.
Unfortunately, Red October is over. Like most games in the series, it was a slow start mostly for both of the teams, but and not even a Schwarbbomb could save us. I don’t even remember who hit the home run for the Astros, but when that home run was hit and Houston took a 3-1 lead, I turned the TV off. I knew it was over. Houston would win the game and won the World Series in a 4-2 series. Rough.
Looking at some of the statistics from the World Series via Baseball Reference.com, The Phillies had their moments batting. Bryce Harper had a batting average of .200 on 20 at bats with 4 hits, 4 walks and 7 strikeouts. Harper also contributed with 1 home run and 2 RBIs (Runs Batted In). Alec Bohm had the best batting average of the team at .286. On 21 at bats, he had 6 hits and 2 walks, along with 7 strikeouts. Bohm had one home run, two runs, three RBIs and two doubles. Schwarber had a batting average of .250 on 20 at bats. Schwarber was a monster by leading the team in home runs with three. He also had five hits and four RBIs with six walks. Again, he struck out seven times.
Well, after a couple of days after the series ended, I still feel bummed but I knew that the Phillies would lose around Game 5 and Game 6. They had slim moments of hope, namely when Schwarber hit the home run in game 6, but the Astros were just better and the Phillies couldn’t overcome their deficits like they had in games past this postseason. Even though I’m bummed about the loss, I still appreciate the Cinderella run we had. Let’s keep in mind, the Phillies were an 87-win team this season and just barely snuck into the playoffs. In that magical run, they beat division champs in St. Louis and Atlanta and beat the Padres despite the effort of the “That’s What’s In” song. They won the National League and made the World Series. I’ll hold onto that for a long time. For the future, Bryce Harper told reporters that they would make it back with more pieces on the team, so we’ll see if they can back up Bryce’s promise. Which the front office has to do. You know this roster can make the Fall Classic, so reflect on the issues that lost us the World Series and address them in Free Agency. All I know now, is that it’s going to be a fun December. See you next year Fightins.