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Top moments of each month in 2022

What a year it was.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Ah, 2022. It’s been a good year to be a Phillies fan. I don’t have to state to you the obvious reasons why it was such a good year as you’re more than likely clothed in a reminder of what it was such a good year.

The World Series run was such a memorable one, the team that produced it likely to go down next to the 1993 version as one of the more revered rosters in team history. Time will tell if they’re like them in terms of on field success, but the group of personalities, performances and individual successes made the late nights in October so, so worth it.

So, it only feels natural as the year draws to a close to look back at the best moments each month had to offer us. This list is by no means comprehensive and you’ll likely find other moments better than the ones listed here. Feel free to drop them down below, but without further ado, here are the top moments of each month in 2022.

January

The beginning of the year was tough. There was no baseball action thanks to the owners locking the players out for wanting a better agreement, so we were forced to debate the Hall of Fame vote. This year was the final year of the Clemens-Bonds-Schilling trio, but there were others that were looking to merely hang on the ballot and be discussed another year. For the Phillies, that meant Jimmy Rollins. Luckily, there were still writers who believed he warranted another look.

It was a solid showing from Rollins and has led to even more discussion this year. Will he ever get in? I think it’s doubtful, but hopefully, his number grows yet again this coming January.

February

Folks, we were hurting for news in February. There was no spring training, no discussions about the lockout, no baseball news of any kind. It was bleak.

Then, like a thunderbolt from the fashion gods on high, a Phillies designed....shoe?

Tell me you weren’t excited when these came out in public? I was unable to acquire a pair then and still haven’t now, but boy are these beauties sharp.

And boy did we miss baseball.

March

For years, we had been begging the team to over the luxury tax. It was, and remains, an artificial ceiling teams place on themselves to make sure they don’t have to spend money. This past offseason felt like the time to do it, especially once they put Kyle Schwarber on the books. That signing might have been the best moment of March, but for me, this was the one.

Going over the tax was new territory for the Phillies, but the signing of Castellanos was the signal that they as an organization was more interested in winning baseball games than in keeping a healthy bottom line.

April

Alec Bohm was our great hope. Drafted with the third overall pick in 2018, he was looked at as a future cornerstone for the franchise and the best chance the team had at developing a hitter from their player development program. The 2020 pandemic season saw him come up and nearly win the abbreviated Rookie of the Year, only to be bested by a reliever(!?!). The following season, he stumbled a bit, both at the plate and on the field, but the team hired new coaches to, what felt like, specifically help him get back to his previous spot as highly touted talent.

Then the Mets came to town.

On April 11, Bohm had a rough game. He had three errors in the game against New York, one that the Phillies would ultimately stage a comeback and win, but it was what Bohm said after the third error that caused some issues on Twitter.

There was no getting around it. The cameras caught it and the team knew it. After the game, Bohm was asked about the comment and gave what was probably the most perfect answer he could at the moment.

The following evening, the crowd gave him a standing ovation, not just for apologizing, but for owning up to it and acknowledging it. It was a classy move by the fans.

It also marked somewhat of a turning point. Once Bohm was allowed to stay in the lineup in favor of veterans getting time over him, he blossomed. Though he still didn’t hit with as much power as we might like, there is still a lot of time for him to become the hitter we thought he might be.

May

7-1.

Seven. To. One.

That was the score heading into the top of the ninth against the Mets on May 5. The game was over, at least statistically. The win expectancy, at least according to Baseball Reference, when the inning started was 100%.

That never happens!

And yet somehow, some way, the Phillies lost the game.

It was so sad listening to that broadcast. I’m not certain how the team recovered from that. That game was just a soul crushing disaster, it probably cost James Norwood his roster spot with the team.

June

You could make an argument that the game against the Angels on June 5 is the one to beat.

This game was absolutely nuts to watch from the bottom of the eighth onward, from Harper’s grand slam to Stott’s walk off home run. It was the game that got Joe Maddon fired, but there was a moment, not on the field, but off the field that topped that game.

Yes, managerial firings are mostly indictments of the players. The manager isn’t the one failing on the field, that’s on the players, but anyone who watched the Phillies could see the lack of something from the roster. They were tight. They looked like they were pressing too much from the start of the season. To a man, most would go on to say that it came from the manager’s office, the intensity of Girardi rubbing off on the team and causing them to play poorly. There is no doubt that once Rob Thomson was given the reins of the team, they took off.

July

For some reason, Joe Girardi didn’t like to play the kids. He wanted veterans on the field almost all the time, even at the expense of players like Bohm and Bryson Stott. Not that Stott did anything to deserve more playing time, but once Girardi was fired and the kids were leaned on a bit, they started coming through.

For Stott, yes that walkoff against the Angels was amazing, but on July 25, that was the night it felt like he truly started to improve.

Girardi never let Stott face left handers. He didn’t believe he could hit them. Again, Stott didn’t show he this was false narrative, but Thomson believed in him. He started letting face the southpaws with more regularity in the hopes he’d deliver. Facing A.J. Minter, he delivered alright.

Does the kid still have work to do? Sure he does. He showed us, though, that he is capable to being an above average hitter in this league and this was one plate appearance that demonstrated that.

August

This year, the National League Cy Young award was given to Sandy Alcantara. Deservedly so, he dominated his opponents this year, both in terms of quality and in quantity. He led all of baseball in innings pitched (228 23 ) and batters faced (886). He was on the mound almost all the time and when he was, hitters struggled against him.

You know who didn’t?

Alcantara faced the Phillies six times in 2022. They had a .657 OPS against him, the fourth highest of all fourteen teams he faced. He only won one of the four decisions he had against the Phillies, but his worst may have been on August 10.

It started innocently, a swinging bunt from Jean Segura, but it all unraveled quickly for the big right-hander.

This was one of the more satisfying wins for the entire season in my opinion.

September

The Phillies were floundering a bit and had a tough series against the Blue Jays coming up. They had lost five in a row against Toronto and Atlanta and badly needed a win. Enter Matt Vierling.

This was a big win for the Phillies. After that one, they would split at home against the Braves before they went on the road to finish the season. As it would turn out, they needed every win they could muster, from all parts of the roster and Vierling played a huge part in that game.

October

The most difficult month to choose as it was the one that had to most moments that touched us in some way.

Does one go with the Jean Segura hit against St. Louis to take game one of the NLWC?

How about the Rhys Hoskins bat stomp, the one where you could literally feel all of his anxiety and anger released into the ether, his scream primal, his joy palpable?

Great moments, yes, but they will pale in comparison to the biggest one. You know what it is.

I mean, can it be any other?

No. No it can’t.

November

The World Series was a disappointment. The team was clearly out of gas and, in the end, got beaten by the better team. They had their chances, yes, but it always felt like they were going to be lose to Houston. That roster was just too stacked for the Phillies to overcome, but if you were anything like me, there was a few moments when you would believe.

J.T. Realmuto’s game winning home run in game one of the series just missed this cutoff for this month, so instead, let’s go with the other moment that had you thinking “Mayyyyyyyyyybe they can pull this off....”

It was a complete and thorough destruction of a solid major league pitcher on the biggest stage of them all. There was some talk about tipping pitches, something that was highly discussed right after the game.

December

December isn’t the month for on field theatrics. It’s the month for improving the team for more on field theatrics. We all knew going into this offseason that the team needed to improve in the infield, shortstop if at all possible, but there were so many rumors flying around, we were getting a little.....edgy.

Luckily for us all, and for Chris, the Phillies got their man.

The rest of the offseason to this point have been extremely productive, so we’ll see what 2023 brings us.

Looking back, 2022 was a really good year. It started off a little slow, but boy has it ended with a bang. Happy New Year, everyone!

Rise and Phight: 2/7/2023

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