Heading into this season, it was apparent the Phillies had the potential to be amongst the upper echelon of offenses this season.
Phillies were loading up
After adding sluggers Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber, who combined for 66 home runs in 2021, to a lineup that already featured reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper and perennial all-star catcher J.T. Realmuto, the Phillies suddenly boasted one of the deepest lineups in the league.
Immediately upon signing them, Harper noted that the Phillies had their sights set on winning a championship.
“In this clubhouse, we’re here to win,” Harper said. “I know the fans want us to be a winning team and this organization wants us to win, so being able to add someone like (Schwarber) is going to help so much.”
The team knew that if they wanted to compete, the offense would need to be the engine. Despite facing an 11-year playoff drought entering the season, Harper was optimistic about his Phillies’ season outlook following a busy offseason.
“What an awesome experience we’re about to have this year with the lineup we’re about to have,” Harper said. “Just the length of our lineup is pretty impressive.”
“It looks great on paper, but we have to go out there and work hard and do the things we can do to score the runs.”
Everyone knew the pathway to victory for Philly was to hit, but few people expected the team to do so this well.
The team has put pressure on pitchers all season long by scoring in bunches. Last night’s stunning comeback in the 2022 World Series opener was a perfect example of that.
Phillies caught lightning in a bottle
After finding themselves in an early hole, down five runs in the third inning, the Phillies’ offense quickly flipped the game on its head in the middle innings.
Following a quiet start to the game, the team began attacking this year’s Cy Young award favorite Justin Verlander the second time through the order. In the fourth and fifth inning, the Phillies collected six hits and drove in five runs of their own to tie the game.
In their last five games, the team has scored two or more runs in a single inning on eight occasions. Dating back to Game 1 of the NLDS, the Phillies have scored multiple runs in a single inning fifteen times in ten games(!).
All hands on deck
From the top of the lineup to the bottom, the Phillies have been getting timely contributions.
“Tonight, I guess tonight was my turn,” said Realmuto, the hero of the stunning Game 1 victory. “But it’s been like that all postseason long. It’s been a different hitter every single night coming up for us.”
Even with their backs to the wall, the Phillies keep rallying together to find ways to win.
“There’s never a doubt with this club,” said David Robertson, who closed out the World Series opener in extra-innings despite allowing a hit and a walk. “This team’s resilient. They don’t stop fighting for every run we get. We can come back from anything.”
After rattling a future first-ballot Hall of Famer in Justin Verlander to open the series, it certainly appears that the Phillies truly can prevail over anything.
The series is far from over, obviously, but the Phillies have to like their chances when the offense is this hot. After issuing the Astros their first loss of this postseason, the Phillies are now just three wins away from being crowned champions.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Eric Gay