Being born and raised in North Philadelphia I’ve heard it all and still continue to hear it from friends and fellow sports writers. “Maybe one year you guys will get to celebrate a championship”. I can take it on the chin, however, they must have forgotten that the Philadelphia Phillies are the last NL East team to actually win a World Series. But, there’s no need for me to throw that in their face.
The Phillies are rebuilding and while they have started the 2017 MLB season with a 4-8 record the team is not as bad as those 8 losses may suggest.
There are vast improvements from 2016. As a unit, the Phillies are much better at the plate. In 2016 the team batted .240 while in 2017 they are hitting .237. Last year seems better but take a minute to remember that the team is only 12 games into the season. The Phils have gone from being at the bottom of the league in runs scored to 9th in 2017. Let’s not forget to mention they have gone against three of the best pitching staffs in baseball with the New York Mets, Washington Nationals, and Cincinnati Reds.
I will say this and leave it alone– “these are the new Phillies”.
The Reds have improved, the Nationals are contenders and the Mets are a season removed from the World Series. But– the Phillies with all their young talent and a 4-8 record have yet to give up. Granted, their backend pitching could use a kick in the rear-end with blown saves but pay attention to the fight in the Phils.
The have lost two heartbreakers to the Nats on walk-offs and 4 of their 8 losses have been by a single run. If the bullpen could get their act together the Phillies would easily be the talk of the 2017 season. But this is the learning curve the team has to deal with as they continue to improve. As the season progress, those one-run losses will turn into wins and the early season struggles will be an afterthought.
To all my Phillies fans out here giving the team a hard time– relax. The season is still young and the Phils are only 3 games out of first.