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Some nice things about the 2016 Phillies

New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

So the 2016 season was, as we all know, pretty much a shitshow. After a surprising surge in April had the Phils above .500, things went downhill vigorously.

But there will be plenty of time to discuss that this winter. There is a stereotype among Philly fans that we’re all guilty of at some point: The Negadelphian. While it doesn’t take a huge leap to see the toxic sludge of this season, we collectively spend too much time looking for bad things to complain about. Accordingly, we at TheGoodPhight would like to invite you to join us in a day of celebrating #Posidelphia.

As a great man once said, “the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows,” and we’re not going to pretend it is. We’re just going to focus on them for today, and let the other things stew a while longer. They’re not going anywhere without us for a little while.

With that in mind, here is a list of, ahem, 69 “nice” things about the 2016 Phillies season:

  1. Several key players emerged as solid regulars or even stars, including Jerad Eickhoff;
  2. Hector Neris;
  3. Cesar Hernandez;
  4. Cameron Rupp;
  5. and Tommy Joseph.
  6. Odubel Herrera reinforced his position as the team’s best player, and demonstrated that his 2015 breakout wasn’t a mirage.
  7. Jeremy Hellickson, acquired in an offseason trade, pitched well as the team’s most predictable starter, and will soon be presented with the choice of accepting a Qualifying Offer; or rejecting it to sign elsewhere, thus securing an extra draft pick.
  8. Longtime hero Chase Utley never got his proper sendoff when he was traded to LA last year, but in August, when the Dodgers visited Citizen’s Bank for the first time, he did. Not only did the PA play Kashmir at his first appearance, but he hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and was rewarded by the fans with two curtain calls.
  9. The Phillies’ offense was not a strong point, but they still managed to hand the L to several ace-tier pitchers, including Chris Sale, of the White Sox;
  10. Julio Teheran of the Barves;
  11. Madison Bumgarner of the Giants;
  12. R.A. Dickey of the Blue Jays;
  13. Matt Harvey of the Mets;
  14. and, while not an ace but perhaps most deliciously, Jonathan Papelbon of the Nationals.
  15. The 71 wins by the Phils will be likely more victory celebrations than the Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, combined.
  16. Among those 71 were eight wins against the rebuilding rival Braves;
  17. six against the Marlins;
  18. five against the Nationals;
  19. and six against the Mets.
  20. While the AL historically leads the NL in interleague play, the Phils went 11-9 this year, including taking three of four from the White Sox, and a three-game sweep of the Indians.
  21. In addition, perhaps demonstrating that “clutch” is still important, they finished 28-23 in one-run games;
  22. and 7-6 in extra-inning games.
  23. In a sign of things to come, the average age of the Phils’ 40-man roster, as of the last day of the season, was the 2nd youngest in baseball;
  24. and this included 16 guys who will be at or below their age-25 seasons in 2017, more than any other club.
  25. On that theme, this year featured the Major League debuts of several players we hope to see for a long time, including Roman Quinn;
  26. and Jorge Alfaro.
  27. For their offensive ails, there were some breakout individual performances, including 10 four-hit games. Cameron Rupp did it;
  28. as well as Maikel Franco;
  29. who did it;
  30. three times;
  31. Cesar Hernandez;
  32. also did it;
  33. three times;
  34. as did;
  35. Odubel Herrera;
  36. three times;
  37. and Tommy Joseph.
  38. The team also did something unique in Major League history, by having four players, including both halves of a first base platoon, hit 20 home runs, Ryan Howard;
  39. Tommy Joseph;
  40. Maikel Franco;
  41. and, very surprisingly, Freddy Galvis.
  42. Speaking of home runs, the Phillies had a pair of multi-home run games this year, with Tommy Joseph;
  43. and Maikel Franco each having one.
  44. Cesar Hernandez tied for the Major League lead with 11 triples.
  45. The Phillies continued their lengthy run of being better than average on the base paths, with 96 total stolen bases vs (and I swear I’m not making this up) only 69 allowed.
  46. Of those steals, there were six games with one player having two, including Odubel Herrera on April 23rd;
  47. Odubel Herrera on June 21st;
  48. Odubel Herrera on July 23rd;
  49. Cesar Hernandez on July 23rd;
  50. Freddy Galvis on August 9th;
  51. and one by Odubel Herrera on September 20th.
  52. Speaking of steals, three players finished the season with an above-average SB%: Freddy Galvis, at 74%;
  53. Odubel Herrera, unsurprisingly, at 78%;
  54. and Cameron Rupp, with one steal in one attempt. Ell Oh Ell.
  55. On the whole, while this doesn’t exactly rank high, the length of the baseball season means the Phillies scored 610 times.
  56. On the other side of the ledger, the Phils’ pitchers got to show off their arsenals with three games of ten or more strikeouts, including Vince Velasquez;
  57. Vince Velasquez;
  58. and Vince Velasquez.
  59. Zach Eflin pitched two complete games this year, including a shutout.
  60. Jeremy Hellickson pitched a shutout;
  61. as did Vince Velasquez.
  62. Alec Asher rebounded from a terrible 2015 season and PED suspension to salvage his 2016 campaign. It’s too soon to tell what his long-term role will be, but it’s also too soon to write him off.
  63. For the first five months of the season, the Phils’ bullpen had a stable, and surprising, back end with the emergence of Jeanmar Gomez as a not unreliable closer. While he struggled in September, he still finished with 37 saves (tied for 8th in baseball) in 43 opportunities.
  64. Freddy Galvis re-established himself as a dominant force with his glove, appearing in 52 consecutive games without an error at shortstop.
  65. On May 25th, Andres Blanco scored a run in an 8-5 win over the Tigers with a steal of home.
  66. This season, while not a success by most standards, still gave us eight more wins than 2015. Considering the length of a rebuild, we should all be grateful to see forward progress.
  67. We, as a fanbase, have not gotten the opportunity to say farewell to all of our heroes. In the case of Ryan Howard, though, the last remaining member of the 2008 World Fucking Champions squad, we did. The sendoff at the season finale was perfect.
  68. Tyler Goeddel, a rule V draft pick last winter, didn’t have a great season, but he did show flashes of future portents. One of these was on May 14th, when he uncorked a tremendous throw to nail the Reds’ Eugenio Suarez at home.
  69. When it comes to streaks, the Phils’ longest win streak was six games, their longest losing streak was nine. That’s a nice bit of symmetry.

There you have it. Some of these are a bit of a stretch, obviously, and there are surely others that could be included as well. What were some of your highlights of this season? Share them here or tweet them with the hashtag #Posidelphia. Let’s all try to have a nice day.