Heartbreak after heartbreak: Why it’s difficult to be a Phillies fan right now

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It happened again.

Our high hopes and the sweet taste of victory over a bitter rival were dashed again. This time it was thanks to salty veteran Ryan Zimmerman. Seranthony got the first 2 outs in the 9th on flyouts by Harper and Rendón and then Zimmerman.

Zimmerman did this.

He barely hit a 2-run shot for his 25th career HR off the Phillies. The loss put the Phillies 3 games behind the Braves in the division.

Why does it hurt so much? Why can the collective moans of the city of Philadelphia and the surrounding areas be so audible yet so quiet?

Nothing makes sense. Nothing feels good. There are no answers.

And that’s the hard truth.

There’s a reason why there are no answers. There is a reason for this pain.

Before you ask, no, it’s not Gabe Kapler, Matt Klentak, Odubel Herrera, or some forth thing. It’s growing pains.

Like a screaming child in need of a teething ring, the Phillies are suffering from their greatest strength.

Youth.

This team features breakout stars in Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Nola, and Seranthony Dominguez. They have seasoned veterans in Carlos Santana and Jake Arrieta. They went out and acquired great pieces for almost nothing in Adrubal Cabrera, Wilson Ramos, and Justin Bour.

The Phillies seemingly have everything they need including a surprising young rotation, but it is that youth, that newness that is bogging down these so called “New Phillies”.

Half of the current roster is 25 or younger (12/25). Another 5 are still in their 20’s. These players aren’t done growing in their abilities. Take a look at Mikael Franco. Can you believe he is still just 25 years old (his birthday is actually this week)? He made his debut in late 2014, BUT he is just NOW putting it all together. He’s hitting .281 with a .811 OPS and 64 RBI. It took 4 year.

Aaron Nola.

Nola broke into the bigs in 2015 and is just now reaching his full potential, being mentioned in Cy Young races and even in MVP races.

It is a worn out and tired expression, but it still holds true. Rome wasn’t build in a day.

A team needs time to mature and gel before it can reach greatness.

By 2005, the Phillies roster featured the core of Howard, Utley, and Rollins. it took one more full season of growing to become the team to beat. It took one more for them to start their journey to “World F*%&ing Champions”.

Success never comes easy, but being a Philly sports fan is never easy. That’s what makes us the best damn sports fans in this country. We’re gritty and never surrender to anyone. We don’t care what you say or how long it takes, we will never leave our teams behind.

That being said, Phillies fans, don’t you dare stop believing in this team. Don’t you dare stop caring about this Phillies’ team. As Carlie Manuel said, these are the “New Phillies”. These are the next group of players that could possibly lead us to the promised land. These are your Phillies. They are going to fight tooth and nail every night. They’re going to be a fun group to follow.

They just need time and, above all else, your support.

Sincerely,

A fellow Phillies fan who is just as frustrated as you are.

 

Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

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