Why do we do this to ourselves every single year? At what point are we going to learn from our mistakes? Heartbreak is a part of life, I get it. But most people who aren't complete fucking idiots and decide to attach 100% of their emotions to a sports team only experience heartbreak like, what, a handful of times in their life? Maybe less.
We do this shit to ourselves every single year. Voluntarily like a bunch of goddamn idiots. In just the past 365 days, the city of Philadelphia has experienced a World Series loss after having a 2-1 lead, a Super Bowl loss after being up by 10 at halftime, a Sixers game 7 loss in the 2nd round of the playoffs after being up 3-2 over Boston, and then last night. Last night might have honestly been the most devastating of them all. When the Phillies lost the World Series, at least we got there and we could build off of it. When the Eagles lost the Super Bowl, there was still an overwhelming belief that they'll get back to that spot. When the Sixers lost game 7 to the Celtics, at least everybody hated the team so much at that point that we knew to never trust them again.
But the 2023 Philadelphia Phillies team? That is a lost season that will linger with us for generations.
Hand up, finger pointing at myself, I got way too cocky after the Phillies went up 2-0. Didn't think the series would even come back to Philadelphia, let alone having it end with back-to-back losses at Citizens Bank Park. Once the Phillies got up 2-0, that was a wrap. Because even worst case scenario in my head at that point was losing all 3 on the road in Arizona, but home field advantage allowing the Phillies to come back home and pummel those guys in games 6 and 7. That was worst case scenario, and I'd imagine so many other Phillies fans felt the exact same way. Which is why "stunned" is probably the best way to describe what we're feeling right now. Just complete and total disbelief that this team completely forgot how to play baseball after a 10-1 win in game 2 where they looked like the most unbeatable team to ever step on a baseball field.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
1-10 with RISP. 3-for-36 from Schwarber, Turner, Harper, JT and Castellanos through the final 2 games of the season. Bryce having a chance to seize the moment with a fastball down the middle thrown his way and just not able to do anything with it.
All of it is just so inexplicable. They just all went ice cold at the worst possible moment. And the worst part about it is that I still love the shit out of all of these guys. I love the shit out of everybody on that Phillies team besides Craig Kimbrel. So I can't even get angry at them. It's just pure disbelief and disappointment. The issue with that is if this were anger, at least you can get anger out of your system. Yell and scream and do whatever you want to get rid of that energy. Disappointment just sits with you and eats away at your soul. There's no getting rid of it until this team does something to supersede that disappointment. And that's not a great regular season, it's not another playoff series win, it's not even just making it back to the World Series. The only way to get over the disappointment from this season is to win a World Series. And only one team gets to do that every year, so the odds aren't particularly high.
It's brutally devastating. If you've ever wondered what makes Philly sports fans the way we are and the way we're portrayed in the national media, it's because of nights like last night. This city had nothing but overwhelming confidence in this team to get the job done. Overwhelming confidence to take care of the Diamondbacks and take care of the unfinished business from last year's World Series. There wasn't a single doubt in this city after the way this team looked after game 2. One week later it's over.
P.S. -- I'm not even that mad at Craig Kimbrel. The dude just sucks at throwing a baseball and he needs to never do it again in his life. But it's not like he put himself in the game to give up a walk-off in game 3 and then blow the shit out of game 4. If there's one person in this organization who I'm truly furious with at the moment, it's Rob Thomson. It's not all on him, I get it. The bats went ice cold for the top of the order and he can't do much about that. And maybe I'm just looking for a guy to get at least a little bit of anger out towards. But this fucking guy, man. He hides behind the shield of "loyalty". He fucked us so hard in this series by putting Kerkering and Kimbrel back out there in game 4 after seeing how awful they were in game 3. All because he wants to seem loyal, but that's bullshit. He's terrified to make a tough call and hurt somebody's feelings. Loyalty, stubbornness, whatever it is, Rob Thomson got out-managed by a billion in this series. There's no riding with Philly Rob right now.