By Kyle Bennett
Back on June 26, Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins told the media, “Don’t forget to write about the really, really good things that went on today as well…” As someone who has an unreal obsession with the Philadelphia Phillies, I never want to see them struggle. This season has been filled with ups and downs and there’s no doubt we’ve been overly frustrated at times with the Phillies. But as Hittin’ Season is in full bloom and the Fightins are clicking and playing like a TEAM and for one another, it’s time to write about the good things.
Hoskins wasn’t kidding when he said there was a lot of baseball left to be played, even though the end of June was close to the true halfway point of the 2021 schedule. The Phillies just pulled off a four-game sweep of the Washington Nationals on Thursday night, marking the first four-game sweep of Washington in the Nation’s Capital since 2009. Heading into the weekend, the Phillies find themselves a half game out of first place in the NL East with an emotional and eventful three-game set against the first-place New York Mets. It’s Wall of Fame weekend at Citizens Bank Park and three iconic members of Phillies history will be honored each night during the series against the Mets.
David Montgomery will be honored on Friday night for receiving Buck O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award that was presented to him posthumously at Cooperstown on July 24 and the Phillies will be doing a ceremony of their own at CBP. Manny Trillo will be inducted into the team’s Wall of Fame on Saturday night to highlight and celebrate his accomplishments with the organization, most notably as a key part of the 1980 World Series Champion team. And Sunday’s game will mark a monumental moment in team history as the Phillies will officially retire Roy Halladay’s number 34 for good. With Zack Wheeler slated to be on the mound for that game, against his former team, with the energy that will be in that ballpark to help celebrate the legacy and life of Doc, the Phillies could find themselves sitting at the top of the NL East with eerily similar vibes to the 2007 team that ended a playoff drought that lasted from 1993-2006.
Baseball is a marathon sport that isn’t meant for the short attention spans and quick reactors. You have to let things cook and marinate and enjoy all the flavors of a season. So as the Phillies continue to play for one another, put together streaks, and fight for a playoff berth for the first time since 2011, there will be bumps and bruises, but let’s also not forget to write about the good things.