10/16/22 : Turning Eight into Four
Seven days ago we posted an article of future promise - “Look out” described how a two game playoff sweep in St. Louis led to visions of future victories and celebration - here’s a link in case you missed it - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/10-9-22-look-out
The carryover of confidence led to an improbable comeback victory in game one of the NLDS in Atlanta and concluded with two wins at home supported by “the best fans in baseball” who showed out and were loud and proud beyond belief - we wrote about the “Euphoria” felt after game three of the series - the first home playoff game in Philadelphia in eleven years - here’s a link if you missed it - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/10-14-22-euphoria
Yesterday’s NLDS clinching win led to more celebration - “Dancing on my own” blared in the stadium, clubhouse, train stations and beyond - the party later spilled over to Xfinity Live as team members joined with fans ( including some of my family ). The sheer joy of victorious accomplishment found to be contagious and heart felt. From here in Florida I watched as the true Phillies fans were enabled a home town joy and the players embraced it.
There is more to be had - with each step the skipper has asked JT prior to the post game party the question how many more ? In Houston the answer was 13 - in St. Louis it was 11 and last night it was 8 - what many outside the room felt improbable has become possible.
The San Diego Padres have made their own “believe in thyself” path to the NLCS - with just two more regular season wins than the Phillies they marched into New York and defeated the Mets and then slew their own division dragon, the Dodgers, to advance. Their celebrations have been just as boisterous and have spilled into the community as well - first baseman Will Myers reportedly spent his evening last night buying drinks for Padres fans in multiple San Diego establishments.
Since my retirement from a real job seven years ago my primary focus has been on writing about Phillies minor league player development and I am quite proud that the Phillies NLDS roster had 11 players who were developed internally - two more ( Darick Hall & Nick Maton ) were in the dugout and clubhouse as ready roster reserves in case needed - 13 total is good by any standards - it’s a testament of accomplishment and a direct contradiction to the naysayers who’ve professed a lack of system talent ( sorry - as one who watches intently that sticks in my crawl ). Conversely the Padres ( notated by many “experts” to have a great player development system ) had just 3 internally developed players on their NLDS roster. 🧐😎
The NLCS will be entertaining as has the entire playoffs thus far - I’m sure no one has noticed or cared much about the DH being in play as the games have incorporated all the elements of “team baseball” , “small ball” that perhaps some felt would be lost. The truth is that those elements are needed for success in the playoffs where pitching is generally at it’s best - the beauty of baseball hasn’t been lost nor shall it be. Instead the game’s evolution continues to embrace the strategic importance of “the little things”.
So - it says here that the Phillies internally believe and that they’ve now captured a full Philadelphia audience that had been standoffish in the regular season ( except for the core ) prior to the playoffs - waiting to also believe. Winning solves most every doubt and fills seats - that’s been proven over time again and again.
I believe as well - this team has built a trail they can continue to take to glory - one pitch, one AB, one play at a time - the focus is calmly intense and with team spirit - the so called “looseness” is in reality self confidence unleashed and the perception they have “nothing to lose” is entirely inaccurate - instead they have everything to win - positivity brings desire, desire brings energy , energy brings will and will brings value - value is found in victory - everything to win - no negative focus on “nothing to lose”.
The NLCS is time to shine bright once again - to have yet another clubhouse celebration where the skipper asks JT how many more - time to turn the answer from 8 into 4 🤓.
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️