2018 is coming to a close, and I felt like I needed to write about this past season. I think every writer has had the same thought. When I was thinking about what I wanted to write about, a bunch of things popped into my head. But I think giving you guys what I think are the 4 most memorable things from the 2018 season is a good fit.
Most memorable not positive or negative
This was important to me. I want to make sure that everyone understands that this list is comprised of the four things that I believe are the most memorable from the 2018 season. This will include both positive and negative things that took place. Honestly, would it be a true list of Phillies’ events if it didn’t include something negative?
The last thing I want to mention before I give you my list, there is no particular order. Again, this is my list of things that I feel are the most memorable from the 2018 season. Other people may have other things included in their list, and that is fine. I may have even had it on my list if I had gone with my original plan of five memorable things from the 2018 season.
1. Opening day
I think every single Phillies fan remembers opening day 2018. It was a managerial debut for Gabe Kapler, not just with the Phillies but his first time ever. We had the ace of the staff, Aaron Nola, on the mound and a 5-0 lead. That is when the fans found out just how their season would go. Kapler decided to pull Nola with one out in the sixth inning. The Phillies ended up losing the game 8-5, and Kapler used five relievers. Those five relievers threw 3 1/3 innings, gave up six hits, walked three, and were charged with seven runs.
Opening day made my list of one of the three most memorable things from the 2018 season is that of the foreshadowing. I know that hindsight is always 20/20, but opening day showed the fans how Kapler would use the pitching staff. Or should I say over-use the pitching staff. The number of pitching changes in this game, as well as the inability of the bullpen to hold a lead, really was a great foreshadow for what this team would become. I also listed this moment first because it happened first.
2. Scott Kingery takes the mound
The Phillies finished with a record 80-82. There were definitely some high moments as well as some not so high moments. When Scott Kingery took the mound against the Mets, this was one of the lowest moments of the season. The Phillies lost the first game of a double-header 24-4. That was the final score, but it was 15-4 when Roman Quinn and Scott Kingery took the mound.
Quinn had decent velocity for a position player on the mound. However, he gave up seven runs. Kingery, on the other hand, gave up just two runs after 1 1/3 innings. This equates to a 13.50 ERA. This made my list of most memorable things because you need to remember both the positive and negative. This was the worst I’ve seen the Phillies play in a very long time. Plus, I have never seen someone throw so slowly at the major league level. I mean, this is just comical.
3. Vince Velasquez shows that he is ambidextrous
This might have been the craziest moment of the Phillies’ 2018 season. Velasquez was pitching and a comeback line drive caught him on his pitching elbow (which is his right arm). Most people would have either fell to the ground in pain, or tried to run the ball to first base. However, the ball bounced off of his elbow and went towards third base. Then this happened.
I included this in my list for obvious reasons. I have never seen a professional baseball player throw the ball with his non-dominate hand, and get an out. He throw the ball hander than most people can with their dominate hand. This was definitely the wildest thing that happened with the Phillies in 2018.
4. Aaron Nola outduels Max Scherzer
It was August 23rd, and the Phillies were still very much in playoff contention. It was the series finale, and there were two aces on the mound. If I’m being 100% honest, I watched this game on my computer while I was sitting in class. Nola and Scherzer finished the season in the top three for the Cy Young award, and on this particular day, they showed why.
Nola won this game and threw eight innings, giving up five hits, zero runs, and just one walk while striking out nine. He outdueled Scherzer that day and it was, in my opinion, the best Phillies’ pitching performance of the season. Nola showed why he was and will be the ace of the Phillies rotation for years to come.
I put this on my list of most memorable because I think it showed how exceptional the Phillies can play. They beat a good Nationals team 2-0 and did what they had to do to win the game. They consistently battled in their at-bats with Scherzer, and got the win.
Now that 2018 is over, what will 2019 bring?
My list of the most memorable things during the 2018 season is likely much different than yours. However, I think we can agree that they were more negative moments. I don’t think this will be the case when we think about the 2019 season. The Phillies have made some additions to make the current roster better than it was, and they have also been involved with Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. This article is not about whether or not the Phillies will sign one of these guys. Rather the fact that I believe the 2019 season will be much different than 2018. I truly expect the Phillies to compete for the NL East division and a spot in the playoffs.