After a final month of increased hope, Ryan Howard and the Philadelphia Phillies remained relevant until game number 155. Did you watch the scoreboard and notice the same dynamic on other 2nd wild-card teams?
I published after every battle that was not washed out. I had many summer-long highlights of puzzle pieces, which were especially important after drubbings and defeats. Please go to my author archives or the Phillies page for my most recent coverage. Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.
Events will dictate the number from 1 to 4 each for November and December. January to mid-February will be every other week, and it will be weekly after that until the year begins.
This is a recent and updated article. However, my 1st storyline for 2013 will be published on the evening of November 4.
Only on a trial basis due to a strong response, the scheduled articles will be supplemented with updated recent reviews for October, and special fill-ins between main reviews, starting in November.
[table id=221 /]
(October above includes this one.)
The Lower Bar:
The difference between this campaign and the 102-victory feast is strikingly opposite. That underscores an interesting contrast on the reaction to this phenomenon. This situation created a stir among the fans, the media, the players and other cities. As they drew closer to the new extra berth, the volume increased and the loudness became more pleasurable.
Fans kept anticipating an end to the valiant run toward the playoffs, but on New York radio, I heard a Mets follower complain that his club should have been the spoiler against the Phils during that series. Sports commentators excitedly opined that the red pinstripes were only 3 games out of it, but then they seem befuddled that it kept going. The locals entered each contest to triumph that day alone, while time expired on the clock. Some nights there was no gain and other evenings there was. The competition realized the height of the mountain before the hometown 9, and breathed a little easier.
The beauty was the lack of pressure on the stars to even tie for the 2nd wild card, and everybody considered that more than they expected in quite a while. There was no hype-oriented obstacle, which meant they were virtually relaxed and worry-free. It would have been a surprise, if fans were disappointed at the end of 2012. The look ahead is clouded by a sense of foreboding, which is based on a .500 record and the veterans’ individual ages. There are some who anticipate that the run of excellence is over.
The top 6 players on this franchise are: Doc Halladay, Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Jonathan Papelbon. Doc and Ryno performed with physical limitations for the entire tour. Utley had the last 2 months at full effectiveness, while Lee had the mental burden of bad luck for the first half. Plus, Chooch Ruiz had good health for 75% of the year. However, from July 14, the red pinstripes went 44-30 (.595), which for a full 162 projects to 96-66. Two organizations in the major leagues finished with a better percentage than that: Washington (98-64) and Cincinnati (97-65). It is worth noting that both, like the 2011 Phillies, were eliminated from the NLDS in a five-decision series.
Visualization for the off-season, 2013 and next October will not be a 96-win high. Even with an additional right-handed power stick and an 8th-inning set-up man for Cinco Ocho, they will be viewed as a 90-victory squad. Last Monday, I listed a $16.5M ceiling for free agent acquisitions in a table format, which is enough money to fill 2 holes with strong talent. (Click the link at the bottom.) That translates to a 3-team race in the NL East with postseason repercussions and without Chipper Jones. As the years are running out on Cholley’s boys, 2013 is the last-hurrah experience versus the youthful exaggeration of end-result ability to decide the division.
Tal’s Handy Caps on Facebook is for notification of posts and any holdups that may occur. It might be worth your while because there are delays of 2 hours on most feeds.
Check out my recent publication (Fielding A Free Agent Bat) and the 121 storylines for 2012 on the Phillies page, where there is an excerpt photo.
Tal’s Handy Stats is daily coverage. I alternated the 2012 ERA For The NL East and the 2012 ERA For The MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked my page.
Tal Venada (Author Archives)