Friday, September 23, 2016
Reflections on a bad loss.
My god, that was brutal. Thursday night's loss to the New York Mets occurred during the final month of a season in which the Phillies never had any legitimate hope for a postseason berth. That didn't stop that 9-8 fiasco from stinging a lot. The Phillies have shown a marked improvement over last season. With nine games to play, they've already won six more games than last season. And we've seen the growth of several players. We now know Jerad Eickhoff can be part of the starting rotation for the next few years. Odubel Herrera has an All Star game on his resume. Cameron Rupp has developed. So has - to plenty of people's surprise - Cesar Hernandez. Tommy Joseph looks like a Big League bat. Vincent Velasquez looks like a Big League arm. And the Phillies were about to win their 70th game of the season, their third in a row. Then they coughed up the lead and the likely post-season-playing Mets had momentum. But no, the Phillies took the lead in the tenth. This was going to be one of those wins you looked back on in 2017 saying, "That's when I knew we had finally turned a corner." Instead, they coughed up another lead. Just brutal. I know I haven't been around the past month or so as much as I'd like to be. We're having a baby and my laptop is on the fritz. (The C button isn't working.) So it wasn't that this season beat me down and I stopped posting. Anyway, it's easy to get caught up in the negative. But we can't forget this season has been, by almost all accounts, a success. The franchise has turned a corner. The young kids are arriving in droves. And, with few exceptions, they're proving to be capable big leaguers. So that loss stung. But I think the Phillies might do even better than my preseason prediction of 72 wins. I'll definitely take that. In the coming weeks, I plan on doing a break down of each player who was on the team this year. It will be fun, but informed. Hope you enjoy them.