The 2022 Philadelphia Phillies’ magical ride is over. The improbable run did not have a storybook ending as the Phillies lost the World Series to the Houston Astros 4-2. Philadelphia held a 2-1 lead in the series before ultimately losing three straight to the consensus best team in baseball. 

There will be plenty of second guessing as there always is when you lose the World Series. Manager Rob Thomson will be questioned for decades about his decision to remove Zack Wheeler from the game in the sixth inning of Game 6. The what ifs are hard to ignore as well, such as what if Chas McCormick doesn’t make that catch in Game 5 or what if Edmundo Sosa’s flyout in Game 6 is ten feet to the left. The disappearing act of the Phillies offense will be remembered in time as the true reason why they didn’t conquer the mighty Astros. 

This article isn’t here to discuss any of that, however. There will be plenty written about all the things that went wrong. Instead, this article will attempt to put this Phillies run into perspective and remind you to cherish the moments that don’t come often around here. 

In the beginning

This Phillies team was dead in the water on Memorial Day. They were 21-29 at the first real checkpoint of the MLB season. That was two more losses than the Pittsburgh Pirates who went on to lose 100 games. As we all know now, the Phillies then made a managerial change and took off, starting with a nine-game winning streak. 

The Streak

That streak featured some of the most memorable regular season highlights of the last decade, including Bryce Harper’s game tying grand slam and Bryson Stott’s three-run walk-off home run in the same game against the Angels. It continued with Alec Bohm and Matt Vierling homering off Josh Hader in the ninth inning in Milwaukee, a win that ultimately mattered later as it gave Philadelphia the tiebreaker over the Brewers. 

The streak ended with a foreshadowing loss to the Diamondbacks on June 12th. However, three days later, Garett Stubbs provided another memorable moment with a three-run walk off blast against the Marlins. This one swing signifies how the Phillies conquered one of their biggest demons, namely their struggles against inferior Marlins teams. 

Prove you belong

Speaking of the Marlins, another moment occurred against them later in the season that proved the Phillies were for real. On August 10th, the Phillies trailed Miami 3-1 going into the bottom of the eighth inning with presumptive NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara on the mound. A six-game winning streak was in jeopardy with two games coming against Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom in a tight Wild Card race. Newly acquired Brandon Marsh and eventual NL home run champ Kyle Schwarber both singled in runs against Alcantara, tying the game at 3-3. Then team MVP J.T. Realmuto finished the job with another single off Alcantara to give the Phillies the lead before Seranthony Dominguez slammed the door in the ninth with two strikeouts. 

That win proved the Phillies mettle. They battled back against elite pitching to overcome a multi-run deficit late in a game. Fighting back against adversity ultimately proved to be their defining characteristic of the season. 

Providing the Magic

Battling back was how their postseason run started. Down 2-0 in St. Louis in their first postseason game in a decade, the Phillies erupted for 6 runs in the ninth inning off of Ryan Helsley who came in with a 1.25 ERA in the regular season. Jean Segura broke it open with his first postseason hit in the first postseason game of his career on a single to right off of a pitch way outside of the zone. This was the moment that allowed fans to start dreaming “what if they do have a run in them?”

Bringing it back home

The Phillies then brought postseason baseball back to Philadelphia for the first time since 2011 and beat the brakes off the defending World Champion Braves in two games at home. Rhys Hoskins’ epic bat spike after getting the party started with a three-run homer off of Spencer Strider will be a lasting image of this run even if Hoskins flamed out in the World Series. 

Making of a Legend

However, the defining moment of the run and most everlasting image will be Bryce Harper’s opposite field home run off Robert Suarez of the Padres that sent the Phillies to the World Series. Harper proved throughout the postseason why the Phillies gave him the largest contract in North American sports history at the time. That home run capped an NLCS where he won series MVP in a postseason where Harper hit .349 with 13 extra base hits including 6 home runs. 

Game of a Lifetime

This team’s magnum opus was their comeback down 5-0 in Game 1 of the World Series against Justin Verlander. It embodied all of their best characteristics in one game. They punched right back after falling in a 5-0 hole in the third inning with 3 runs in the fourth before tying it in the fifth. The rejuvenated bullpen threw 7 shutout innings on the road before J.T. Realmuto won it with a homer in the top of the tenth. This win embodied what this team could do when everything was clicking.

An end and a beginning

But of course, it didn’t last. Maybe the heroics of this season fade from memory for some. They may feel bitter at how it ended. Others will certainly wish they could’ve felt the joy of 2008 one more time. Maybe they’ll remember the failures instead of the successes. 

However, there will be some who will never forget this team. There are many kids in this area named Chase who never got to experience the joy their namesake provided. How many 10-12 year olds have only known a decade of frustration and failure up to this point? How many turned to the Eagles, Sixers, or Flyers for entertainment and grew to ignore the Phillies completely? 

Now think of how many of those kids will start excitedly counting down the days until spring training starts. Think of how many of them will wear their Bryce Harper or J.T. Realmuto or Kyle Schwarber or Zack Wheeler jerseys with pride. Think of how many of them will pack Citizens Bank Park next season as the empty blue seats start to shrink in number.

Baseball is a child’s game, and this generation was just given lifelong memories. How many kids just fell in love with baseball in 2022 the same way their parents did in 2008? That will be the legacy of this Phillies team. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here