After a good night’s sleep to get over yesterday’s blown save, I’d like to take a minute to celebrate this past series. There will be no hard-hitting analysis here, just six hundred words (and a few photos) of pure happiness.
Over the past four days, the Phillies won three out of four games against the best team in the National League, and perhaps the most talented team in baseball.
They scored 33 runs in those four games, for an average of 8.25 runs per game. They outscored the Dodgers 33 to 25.
Every position player on the roster got a hit. Every position player on the roster scored a run.
Bryce Harper led the charge, smacking 8 hits in just 12 at-bats. He drove in 8 runs and scored 5. He had 7 extra base hits, including 3 home runs. He may have a partial tear in his UCL, but he can still be one of the most fearsome hitters in baseball.
The Phillies now have a +18 run differential. That’s better than the Padres, the Braves, the Rays, the Red Sox, the Blue Jays, and every team in the AL Central.
They have a .750 team OPS, the highest in baseball. They rank second in the National League in home runs, runs scored, RBI, stolen bases, and batting average.
Their position players are third in the National League in FanGraphs WAR, behind only the Mets and the Cardinals.
Oh, and did I mention the Phillies won three out of four against the Dodgers? The Dodgers!
No, it wasn’t all sunshine and dingers this weekend. The Phillies allowed 25 runs in 4 games (6.25 runs per game) and that’s not good, even against LA. The bullpen was shaky throughout the series, and bad defense reared it’s ugly head on occasion (as always).
But when the Phillies are winning, it’s hard to care about all that.
The Phillies have lost series to the likes of the Marlins, the Rockies, and the Rangers this year. Many fans watched those losses pile up and began to lose hope. It’s really hard to watch your team lose winnable game after winnable game.
Then the Phillies went and won 3 out of 4 against the Dodgers — and in convincing fashion too. The Phillies were a lot more than just watchable this weekend. They were exciting.
This team may drive you up the wall sometimes. I’ve been there. This weekend, however, the Phillies reminded us why we do this in the first place.
Over the past four days, the Phillies proved they can compete with the best of the best. Three wins is all it takes to win a first-round postseason series, and the Phillies just demonstrated they can do that against the toughest possible competition.
The next time the Phillies go through a bad stretch and lose a slew of games to an inferior team (I regret to inform you that it will happen), I’m going to remember this series. I’m going to remember that the 2022 Phillies are capable of great things. And while those future losses are still going to stink, I really do think they’re going to be a lot more tolerable now that we have this series to look back on.
The 2022 Phillies are a good team. The 2022 Phillies are capable of winning ballgames against even the strongest opponents. The 2022 Phillies are going to really compete this season.
Call me a fool, but I, for one, cannot wait to see what the 2022 Phillies have in store.