For the first time in 11 years, the Philadelphia Phillies are headed to the postseason. After a 3-0 victory over the Houston Astros, the Phillies clinched the 3rd and final playoff spot in the National League.
The expectations for 2022 were high for Phillies fans. Their lineup included reigning MVP Bryce Harper and all-star catcher JT Realmuto. They also went out in free agency and brought in sluggers Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos. However, the season started off to a very slow start. On June 1st, the Phillies were 22-29 and it looked like the season was headed south quickly.
On June 1st, the Phillies made a change in managers and made Rob Thompson the interim manager for the club. The Phillies then won 14 of 16 games and quickly the pre-season hope was back. The Phillies had a major setback when Bryce Harper was sidelined for a majority of the second half of the season with a broken hand and also lost second baseman Jean Segura to a leg injury. However, a Rob Thomspon led team did not fold and they proceeded to continued to rallyg.
It came down to the final series of the season, but the Phillies got it done. Aaron Nola pitched his best game of the season. He took a perfect game into the 7th and held the best team in the AL to only 2 hits. Kyle Schwarber wasted no time in this game. He took the first pitch yard to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. A Bryson Stott home run in the 8th extended the lead. Kyle Schwarber wasn't done and hit his second home run of the game in the next at bat. For the bottom of the 9th, Thompson looked to Zach Efflin to get his first career save, and Efflin took advantage of the opportunity!
With the win, the Phillies end their 11-year playoff drought! Their last playoff was a 1-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. That game featured Phillies greats Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Roy Halladay. How in 2022, the Phillies will be led by Bryce Harper, JT Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber, and Zack Wheeler. In the 11-year drought, the Phillies had 4 manager, 3 GM's, played 1,680 games, and one of the darkest stretches in franchise history
To put into perspective how long this drought has been. The last time the Phillies made the playoffs
Moves like Jaggar was #1 song in the United States
Moneyball was in theaters
James Harden was part of the OKC Thunder
Jalen Hurts was 13
Hip Hop was still the mascot for the 76ers
Bryce Harper was playing for the Syracuse Chiefs
The Phillies will wait to see their opponent for the 2022 postseason. However, I have one suggestion for the club before game 1! Remove the interim tag from Rob Thompson. He took a struggling ballclub and made them a playoff team mid-season. He is the manager of the future and should get serious consideration for NL Manager of the Year! The Phillies are ready to make a run in October and Rob Thompson is the man to do it!