The Student News Site of Neshaminy High School

The Playwickian

The Student News Site of Neshaminy High School

The Playwickian

The Student News Site of Neshaminy High School

The Playwickian

The Fightin’s final rally fails fans

Bryce Harper celebrates while rounding the bases after hitting a home run.
WHYY news (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Bryce Harper celebrates while rounding the bases after hitting a home run.

After a long season full of ups and downs, the Philadelphia Phillies ended their 2023 season with a crushing loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in game 7 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS).

The Phillies went into their playoff run with a winning record of 90-72. This is the second year in a row in which the Phillies have made it to the NLCS.

The Phillies battled hard to make it this far in the season, but thanks to the support of their fans they were able to turn their season around.

Coming out of last year’s World Series run, expectations were high for the team and many fans assumed they would easily make the playoffs. However, this fact would come into question many times during the season as the Phillies struggled to win against struggling teams like the Miami Marlins and New York Mets.

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“Honestly, I feel like they were just battling themselves all season,” avid fan, Olivia Hughes, said “At the beginning of the season, their hitting was inconsistent. To win ball games, they would give up leads and their key players weren’t coming through when [they] needed to.”

It’s true. In April, the Phillies managed a measly record of 15-13 which jumped down to 10-16 once May came around. The Phillies did not have a good start, and fans were beginning to lose hope.

It seems that the only thing that could have given the Phillies any chance of success, at least for now, was the return of 2022 NLCS MVP Bryce Harper. Harper, who commonly plays in right field or Designated Hitter, tore a ligament in his elbow and required a special surgery. After going to physical therapy, Harper returned to the team in early May.

“I’d said the season flipped around when Harper came back. The pitching started becoming consistent, and their offense got better at timely hitting” said Hughes. Among other reasons, Harper’s return helped the Phillies battle back, with them sweeping their series against the Tigers, Cubs, and Athletics in June alone.This, however, was not the end of the Phillies’ struggle for greatness this season. Newcomer to the team and former Los Angeles Dodger Trea Turner had been experiencing a batting and fielding slump ever since he joined the team.

It was clear that Turner was struggling to adjust to being a Phillie, and the media had a frenzy attacking him due to how much money he was contracted to earn. Turner’s struggles climaxed during one August game against the Miami Marlins where he batted 0-5 and made a game-losing error at shortstop in the 11th inning.

While many would assume that Turner would continue to be hounded by fans over his sub-par performances, this time was different. The next time Turner came up to bat, Phillies fans gave him a standing ovation.

Thanks to support from the fans, Turner was able to turn his season around. Starting with the game after the standing ovation (where he hit a go-ahead home run), Turner ended August with a batting average of .369 (well above average) and 9 home runs. Turner showed his support for the fans by buying out time slots in 12 digital billboards across Philadelphia which read “Thank you, Philly.”

The Phillies entered the postseason ranked first in wildcard team standings with a record of 90-72, and fans were ready for the start of a second Red October. After winning their first two series, fans had high expectations that the Phillies would return to the world series once again, especially after they beat the Braves in a very challenging division playoff series. However, the Phillies were unable to win the NLCS against the Diamondbacks. The series went all the way to game 7, but despite winning the first two games of the series the Phillies were unable to pull out a win, ending their season on a rather disappointing note.

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About the Contributor
Sarah Kramer, Circulation Editor
Sarah Kramer is the Circulation Editor and a Staff Writer for the Playwickian Newspaper at Neshaminy. This is her second year being involved in the club. Sarah has always enjoyed writing and helping others stay informed about important (or not-so-important) topics. She also enjoys helping others and making people smile in any way possible, which journalism and the Playwickian have helped her accomplish. When in doubt, you can always find Sarah in the music hallway at Neshaminy, as outside of the Playwickian she is Drum Major of the Neshaminy Marching Band and a member of Neshaminy’s Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra where she plays trumpet. Some of Sarah’s favorite things include spending time with friends, watching movies, playing her trumpet, and eating Panera Bread.