Stick a Fork in ‘Em. The 2012 Phillies are Done.
The last few months have been pretty interesting for the Phills. For months they were considered an afterthought in the wildcard race. They were too banged up and lacking (to say the least) in the bullpen to play the high level of baseball that this city has come to expect over the last few years. Ryan Howard was still recovering from a torn achilles tendon, Chase Utley added another chapter to his ongoing saga of knee troubles, and Carloz Ruiz, arguably the Phillies best player this season, was dealing with plantar fasciitis and had not played for about a month and a half.
When the trade deadline approached it seemed as though even the Phillies had given up on the year. Fan favorite Shane Victorino was traded to the LA Dodgers for prospects and Hunter Pence, the major trade deadline acquisition from last year, was sent to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Nate Schierholtz and prospects. The Phillies were officially packing it in.
Then things changed.
From late August through Early September, the Phillies had a Lazarus-like return from the dead. The Phightins went on a 15-5 game stretch and propelled themselves back into the heat of the wildcard race, getting within three games of a struggling Cardinals team in Saint Louis. Cliff Lee had finally earned a W while pitching at home, the Phillies were piling on runs, and the Phillies were heading into the series against the worst team in baseball: the Houston Astros.
Despite all of the momentum and odds in their favor, the Phillies’ playoff dreams were grounded in Houston, going 1-3 in the series.
The Phillies have nine games remaining this year. Six of them against the Washington Nationals, who have a league leading 93 wins. With the Phillies currently 5.5 games back, this season is in the books.
The remaining questions for this team involve whether or not the Phillies should shut Halladay down for the year and which prospects should get some major league reps. Meanwhile, fans will be asking how this campaign could have gone differently.
RIP Phillies. See you in the spring.