World Series thoughts
I know what you’re thinking. This is just another Phillies fan/writer trying to use some clickbait to make you open the article. However, this is not the case. I’m sitting here watching the World Series and I asked myself this question. Can the Phillies play at this level of baseball? The obvious answer is yes, they are a major league organization. But come on, the Miami Marlins could not play at this level. 2008 was ten years ago, how far away is the current Phillies team from reaching this level?
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) October 22, 2018
What I’m going to try to do with this article is not use statistics, but rather go off of the eyes. The reason for this is statistics aren’t for everyone. Sometimes statistics lie and sometimes the eye is the best way to measure things.
The 2018 Phillies
If you had watched any stretch of the Phillies season in 2018, then you know they are not on the level of contenders. This is a fact. Besides the starting rotation (which also had its issues) this Phillies team was not ready to play at the level, it takes in the World Series. Their defense was atrocious all season, and the offense looked confused for a majority of the season. When you compare that to the Red Sox and Dodgers, it’s a no-brainer why the Phillies are watching this game from their couches.
With all of that being said, I don’t think this team is far from getting to this level. After the 2018 season, the young core of players the Phillies have got another year. They have another year of experience at the major league level under their belts. For a guy like Rhys Hoskins or Scott Kingery, this is invaluable. Hoskins played his first full season after coming up during the 2017 season. Hoskins was able to work through the adjustments that pitchers made against him. If we look at a guy who went through sort of the same thing, look no further than Aaron Judge. Before anyone says anything, I am NOT saying Hoskins is or will be Judge. But I do think he will get close.
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) October 25, 2018
What needs to change?
This is simple, the Phillies need to be better in every single category. Offense, defense, starting pitching, and the bullpen. Throughout this entire postseason, you’ve seen teams; not make errors, not walk batters (for the most part), relievers coming in and getting big-time outs, and most important key timely hitting.
It’s really easy for me to sit here and type all of this out from sitting on my couch but really think about it. The Phillies were the second-worst defensive team in baseball, only behind the Cardinals, who are also not in the playoffs. Giving a team free outs is not logical. As far as the hitting goes, I think we will see a much more disciplined offensive team in the 2019 season. When I say discipline, I don’t mean more walks because the Phillies were third in the National League in walks this season. What I mean is having a better approach at the plate, situational hitting, driving in runners from third with less than two outs, and finally two-out hitting. I expect the 2019 Phillies to take a huge step forward in these categories.
The final thing that the Phillies need
The final thing that the Phillies need is not a measurable statistic per say. What I mean, the Phillies need to have a fight inside of them. Throughout this postseason we have seen teams come back and win baseball games. Throughout the 2018 season for the Phillies, a lot of the time it looked as if once they were down, the game was over. Come behind wins can be measured, but there will be times when you come back and it just wasn’t enough. For the Phillies, it looked like they had no fight. Unlike the 2008 Phillies.
Remember this? It's been nearly 10 years since the #Phillies ended Philadelphia's championship drought and we want to hear from fans ahead of the anniversary (Oct. 29) about what they remember most. Get in touch with @matt_breen at firstname.lastname@example.org https://t.co/Z4oJ4gRGDf pic.twitter.com/bbQhL1mtgL
— Philly.com (@phillydotcom) October 25, 2018
If you can think back to a simpler, much better time. It’s 2008 and the Phillies finished the year 92-70. When watching that team play, something was just different. No matter what the score was, it always felt like the 2008 Phillies were in the game. In order for the 2019 Phillies to make it to the World Series level, they need to have this fight. It will be interesting to see how another year under Gabe Kapler will affect this team. I think it can only get better.