Pop that champagne—seriously, you’ve earned it.
I wrote this during the game and I am stoked--there will be errors and typos but I don't give a shit.
For us diehard Phillies fans, the grind of 162 game season can test our mental strength and push us to places we didn’t think we’d ever end up. We’ve had night ruined by blown saves, infield errors, and left runners stranded too many times to count. We have seen epic comebacks, clutch hits, and even a no-hitter. This is the life of a Phillies fan and has been for decades and old newspaper clipping states it best: “These Phillies possess the obnoxious quality of making their fans suffer, even in victory. They render everything difficult; the most serene days are not spared.”
For many Phillies fans the season starts next Tuesday. For us, the season started months ago. We have grown with this team and gotten to know and love the new guys, seen our daycare grow up, and busted a super star out his slump. We know October baseball is not given its earned from April-September. While our ultimate goal is for a parade on broad street it would be foolish not to celebrate what we have accomplished so far. Every season is a story and every story has a beginning. I am going to do the best I can to tell the story of this season through my eyes as we get ready for the final chapter: Red October. So sit back, grab your favorite adult beverage and lets reminisce for tonight before we turn our attention to the playoffs.
December 5th, 2022
The Phillies find their shortstop of the future. Just two months after a World Series loss Dave Dombrowski goes out and signs the best 5-tool player in the league--Trea Turner. Philly was thrilled that they finally had a second superstar to supplement Bryce Harper. After the excitement wore off I slowly came to the realization that my beloved Jean Segura would no longer be a Phillie. A fan and locker room favorite Jean Segura will always have a special place in my heart. Not only for his spunk and clutchness on the field, but what he sparked with Jean's Jeans for me and my friends. Nevertheless a lineup that was loaded gets even better. Complacency is the enemy of growth and the Phillies found a weakness and improved it.
March 23, 2023
The Phillies lineup takes a massive blow. In a freak spring training injury Hoskins tears his ACL and is out for the year. With Harper recovering from his Tommy John surgery I was seriously concerned for the beginning part of the season and having to lean on the young guys. Hoskins was good for 30 HRs and while frustrating in the 2 hole with inconsistency would've been a lethal bat to turn the line-up over. Not to mention his big hits in the playoffs along with being a great locker room guy. The bat spike against Spencer Strider being a moment that will live in Phillies lore for years to come.
April 4th, 2023
Sound the alarm, panic button has been pressed. Swept out of Texas, lost one in New York. I headed into the office hopeful that I would get to see the Phillies first win of the season vs the Yankees. In a bit of anxiousness I take a lunch time walk to blow off some steam and kill some time waiting for the work day to end.
I walk a way I normally don't, circling Rockefeller Center. I am waiting at the cross walk and none other than JT Realmuto is standing across the street from me. I was star struck. He was just walking around NYC on his first day off as Stubbs was given the start. I stopped him, chatted, and even got a selfie. Later than night I was able to see the Phillies win and the 2023 nerves were alleviated.
June 4st, 2023
4st is no typo, this was the official start of June. Kyle Schwarber hits 2 homers and has 6 RBI in another hot month of June. Similar to last season this Phillies teams turned the corner in June winning 12 of 14 after Schwarber's breakout game. Harper back in the lineup for over a month and while his power was not all the way back his average was and it clearly lifted the spirits of the team.
July 7th, 2023
The Phillies woes with the Marlines continue into 2023. In a game where the Phillies are down to their final strike, unlikely hero Christian Pache hits a home run to propel the Phillies to the win heading into the All-Star break. I still think of this as the win of the year. It was a cultural reset and we proved that we are better than the Marlins and set us up for a second half playoff push.
August 4th, 2023
The true turning point this season. Trea Turner had been lack-luster to say the least. The worst season of his career. 10-years $300 million contract. The notoriously rough and tough Philly fans decided to do something incredible--they cheered. They rallied behind Trea in an effort to bust him out of his slump and goddamnit did it work. Turner was the best player in baseball for the month of August and hasn't cooled down since. Hitting 12 home runs in 15 games. This sparked the rest of the team too as the Phillies created real separation in the Wild Card race.
August 12th, 2023
Jortstop night. Our second annual denim event still went on without our beloved Jean. Shifting to raise money for The V Foundation our event was nothing short of spectacular. Doubled in size, raised over $3500, and met some incredible new people. Two years in a row has solidified the tradition and I can't wait for it to grow year over year.
September 26th, 2023
That bring us to tonight. I'm sitting here writing this in the top of the 10th inning and Phillies have a chance to beat the Pirates to clinch their second straight playoff birth. First back to back appearances since the run from 07-11. Despite making the World Series last year this is truly something to be proud off. We rode with these guys for the entire season for this moment. I feel like I am a part of this team. Going through the highs and lows with them. It's what sports are all about. I am writing this live so were about to get a stream of consciousness for the 10th inning.
BANG-- Jeff Hoffman strikeout to leave runners in scoring position. We head to the bottom of the 10th. The bank is rocking and the only question left is who is going to be the hero.
Winning run, Pache, 180 feet from popping bottles!
Marsh strikeout brings up Rojas. Who has seemingly been clutch in big games--does he have one more in him?
HE DOES--RIGHT UP THE MIDDLE. OCTOBERS LOOKING RED!!!!!!!!
I love this team, I F***ING LOVE THIS TEAM. What a season this has already been. I can't wait to see what they do in October but I can guarantee I am taking none of it for granted.
Just like I did last year, I'm cracking a beer and I'm going to call my Dad. We will see you at the Bank on Tuesday night. Lets go win the whole damn thing.