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The Phillies Come Up Short, Again

Bryce Harper celebrates hitting a home run for the Philadelphia Phillies.

After falling in the 2022 World Series, the Phillies looked to finishing the job in 2023 but stumbled in the championship series.

Early-Season Trouble for Phillies

The 2022 Philadelphia Phillies were a remarkable story because the team enjoyed the lowest of lows and the highest of highs in one single season. The Phillies had won it all in 2008 and were the National League Champs in 2009, but they were stuck in a rut dating all the way back to 2012. As multiple managers cycled throughout the years, the bad results continued. Joe Girardi was facing the same fate that Charlie Manuel did in 2013, as he was fired in early June when the team was 22-29.

Managerial Switch

Bench coach Rob Thomson was named the interim manager and led the team to a 65-46 record the rest of the way. This resulted in an 87-75 finish and a wild card berth. The Phillies went on to eliminate the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card Series and the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS. They proceeded to win the NL Pennant as they knocked out the San Diego Padres. The team played awesome baseball by relying on their high-powered offense and workhorse starters. They were outlasted in six games in the World Series by one of the best Houston Astros teams in recent memory. The 2022 Phillies run was worthy of a documentary, and they were coming back in 2023 with the mindset of finishing the job this time around.

2022-2023 Offseason Additions

The Phillies were poised to strike big in the free agent market and they did. The free agent class was stacked with top shortstops and they agreed to terms with All-Star SS Trea Turner on an 11-year, $300 million dollar deal. After that, the Dave Dombrowski-led front office shored up the starting rotation by signing SP Taijuan Walker. They also added RP Gregory Soto to the bullpen via trade with the Detroit Tigers. Future Hall of Famer CP Craig Kimbrel was also added on a one-year deal.

The Phils were poised for another deep playoff run after adding Turner to an already potent lineup that featured OF Bryce Harper, OF Kyle Schwarber, C JT Realmuto, OF Nick Castellanos, 2B Bryson Stott, and 3B Alec Bohm in the season prior. The pitching staff and relief corps group was a very solid group as well. SPs Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola led the charge in the starting rotation. Kimbrel and Soto complimented a bullpen that already had RP Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Alvarado.


The Phillies coasted to a 90-72 record which helped them claim the first NL Wild Card spot. When playoff time came around, Philadelphia replicated last postseason’s hot start. The Phillies made quick work of the Miami Marlins as they easily eliminated them by winning the first two games of the Wild Card Series. The Phillies once again faced off against the NL East Champs, Atlanta Braves in the NL Division Series. The Phils routed the Braves in an emotional 3-1 series win.

The Phillies then squared off against the surging Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL Championship Series. The Philly bats mashed in the first two games, but after that the vaunted lineup had trouble figuring out the Diamondback arms. They headed to Arizona up two games to none, but closer Craig Kimbrel blew leads in back-to-back games as the D-Backs evened up the series at two games apiece. Philly took the upper hand in Game Five behind a Zack Wheeler starting effort. The Philly faithful saw the Diamondbacks steal the last two games of the series as they eliminated their beloved Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

It was a tough elimination to swallow especially with how the offense performed in the last two games. The blown leads late in the game in Arizona came back to bite them, and if that wouldn’t have happened, I would have favored the Phillies to win it all against the Texas Rangers in the World Series.

2024 Outlook

The Phillies are definitely built to win now. They are in good hands as they have superstar OF/1B Bryce Harper leading the franchise and clubhouse. The players have bought into manager Rob Thomson’s ways and have already succeeded under him. Stud SP Aaron Nola was brought back this offseason on a seven-year, $172 million dollar contract. SP prospects Mick Abel and Andrew Painter will also supplement the starting rotation in the near future. With a similar pitching staff and lineup, the Philadelphia Phillies will definitely be in the thick of it once again come 2024.

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