There were so many incredible moments, so many goosebumps, so many times where you began to believe the Phils were, in fact, that Team of Destiny we see so often in baseball. Game 1’s come-from-behind victory in Houston followed by Game 3’s utter domination of the Astros seemed to verify those beliefs and I, for one, knew for a fact the Phillies were winning that series in five games.
Of course, we were all wrong. It’s incredible how quickly things went south. So many potential turning points.
- An almost incomprehensible no-hitter in Game 4 that I don’t think any of us have still fully grasped.
- Rhys Hoskins striking out with the bases loaded in the 2nd inning of Game 5.
- Nick Castellanos lining out to shortstop with Harper on 2nd in Game 5.
- Brandon Marsh failing to score a runner from 3rd with 1 out in the 8th inning of Game 5.
- Schwarber’s rocket somehow gobbled up by Trey Mancini in Game 5.
- Cha McCormick’s insane catch against the wall in the 9th inning of Game 5.
- Removing Zack Wheeler ahead of Yordan Alvarez’ 3-run HR in Game 6.
Curious what you all think. What was the turning point of the 2022 World Series?— John Stolnis (@JohnStolnis) November 8, 2022
Seriously, I don’t know how the Astros picked themselves up off the mat after Game 3 and the blown 5-run lead in Game 1, but they did. In doing so, they put a damper on what had been an incredible run of pixie-dust moments throughout the postseason.
So the exercise I do next, I do for me. I need to relive some of the great moments, bittersweet they may be right now, to help me heal. If you’re in the same boat, I hope you’ll enjoy this. If it’s too soon, bookmark this post and come back to it later. One day soon, we’ll all be ready to look back on these moments with nothing but joy in our hearts.
Here is my top-10.
10. J.T. Realmuto 10th HR - Game 1 - World Series
This moment may have been at the top of the list had the Phils gone on to win the Series. At the moment, it feels like a cruel tease, but after overcoming a 5-0 lead against Justin Verlander in Game 1, Realmuto’s solo shot to right field in the 10th inning of Game 1 shocked the world, and gave the Phillies a leg up in the Fall Classic.
9. Phillies Destroy Lance McCullers, Jr. - Game 3 - World Series
It’s hard to quantify how dominating this was, but the Phillies tied a World Series record by hitting five home runs in this game, the first time any team had done it against one pitcher. Bryce Harper’s biggest World Series moment came in the bottom of the 1st when he slammed this two-run shot to get the ball rolling.
8. Kyle Schwarber San Diego Moonshot - Game 1 NLCS
488 feet? Yup. 488 feet.
7. Nick Castellanos’ Sliding Catches - Game 1 NLCS, Game 1 World Series, Game 3 World Series
The man made the same, identical catch three separate times in three separate games, two of them absolute game-savers. No one could have predicted Castellanos would be far more helpful defensively than offensively during this run, but he was.
6. Seranthony Dominguez K’s Goldschmidt & Arenado - Game 2 NLWCS
A forgotten and incredibly underrated moment was Seranthony cutting through two of the best hitters in the National League in the highest leverage moment of his career. Remember, at this early stage of the postseason, no one really knew what Dominguez had left in the tank, but here he was, called upon to get the Phillies out of a huge jam in Game 2 against St. Louis. With runners on 1st and 2nd and one out, Dominguez faced two of the three “finalists” for the NL MVP award this year, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado and all he did was whiff them both, allowing Zach Eflin to close the door one inning later and send the Phils to the NLDS against Atlanta.
5. Hoskins 2-HR Game - Game 4 NLCS
One of the few times the Phillies fell behind in the NL playoffs, San Diego pushed four runs across the plate against Bailey Falter, all of them after he had retired the first two hitters of the first inning. In the bottom of the 1st, Hoskins slammed a two-run home run to propel a three-run first, and trailing again, this time 6-4 in the bottom of the 5th, slugged another two-run homer, this one to tie the game 6-6. The Phillies would go on to with 10-6, thanks to more heroics by the rest of his teammates.
4. J.T. Realmuto Inside-the-Park HR - Game 4 NLDS
A catcher. Hit an inside-the-park home run. In the playoffs. Ridiculous.
3. Jean Segura’s 9th Inning Scraper - Game 1 NLWCS
This playoff run almost didn’t happen. Shut out by Jose Quintana in Game 1 of the Wild Card series, the Phils mounted a comeback against an injured Brian Helsley, who entered with a 2-0 lead but lost command and hit Alec Bohm with the bases loaded to make it 2-1. Up stepped Jean Segura, the active player with the most games played without a postseason appearance under his belt. And in his first playoff game, he did this.
2. Rhys Hoskins Bat Spike - Game 3 NLDS
There’s no doubt Rhys Hoskins is a frustrating player. His cold streaks are hard to watch and there were a couple occasions in these playoffs where his defense actively cost the Phillies runs. But he’s so easy to root for. Everyone is desperate for Hoskins to play better, but going into Game 3 of the NLDS, he had committed a bad error in Game 2 that opened the floodgates to a three-run Braves rally off Zack Wheeler that ultimately led to their only loss of the series. As a smattering of fans booed him, he strolled to the plate against the seemingly unhittable Spencer Strider. What happened next, as well as his response, will live forever in Phillies lore, no matter what you may think of him.
1. The Swing of His Life - Game 5 NLCS
Of course, the final pitch of the NLCS, caught by Castellanos in right, is the moment that got them to the World Series, but Harper’s home run in the bottom of the 8th, trailing 3-2, is the stuff legends are made of. Outside of Dick Sisler’s 4-1 home run in the final game of the 1950 season, this is simply the greatest home run in Phillies history.
I hope this list helped. I’m not sure it helped me yet, so if not, give it time. I think it will.