The Phillies celebrate last Sunday after winning the NLCS
The Phillies celebrate last Sunday after winning the NLCS

Phillies baseball: the best new drama this fall

What's the best show to watch in the new fall lineup? Look no further than professional baseball

October 27, 2022

The best show on television this fall is an unscripted drama in its 131st season, and the show title is called Phillies postseason Baseball. Filmed in front of a live studio audience on 46,000 screaming fans, the Phillies provide some incredible storylines that will culminate in the seven part season finale episodes titled “The World Series.” 

The pace for this genre is slow, but so was “The Sopranos,” “Game of Thrones” and “Breaking Bad” at times. Despite the slow pace, viewers stayed engaged because of the characters and storylines of those shows. 

The cast of this Phillies postseason Baseball show is extremely likable, and when you go back and watch the adversity each character faced and how they overcame it, you can’t help but root for them. 

Here are a couple of the key characters on the show and their stories. 

 

Alec Bohm

The season starts off with former first round pick and top prospect Alec Bohm making three ugly errors early in the fourth game of the season. The Phillies rallied back and took the lead and Bohm received a loud cheer late in the game after making a routine play. After the play, cameras caught him saying “I F-n hate this place” (referring to Philadelphia). When asked about it in the locker room, the 25 year old didn’t try to hide from it or lie about what he said. He admitted that he was caught up in the moment, took accountability for his actions but said it but didn’t mean it. The fans of the city appreciated him owning up to his mistake and embraced him the rest of the season. 

Bryce Harper

He is the star of the show, making $330,000,000 million and the 2021 National League MVP. In late April Harper hurt his elbow and can no longer throw and play the field and is relegated to designated hitter duties. Then in late June, Harper was sidelined again with another injury, breaking his hand, keeping him off the show until late September. His recent home runs in the last two games of the NLCS cemented him as this show’s hero and protagonist. Harper has been on fire and was named the NLCS MVP. His biggest moment came in game five against San Diego: the Phillies were losing by a run in the 8th, one man on, two outs, and two strikes. Harper delivered the biggest home run of his career to give the Phillies the lead and ultimately the win. When he came into the dugout he said “Oh my God, I just did that?”

Harper in Game 1 of the NLCS on October 18 (Photo courtesy of whyy (AP Photo, Gregory Bull)

Joe Girardi

The manager of the team got kicked off the show and fired after a disappointing 22-29 record. Giradi is known to be a big proponent of utilizing analytics to make managerial decisions and was said to be a poor communicator with his players. 

Rob Thomson

Basically an extra in the show for the past three seasons, Thomson was promoted to a starring role and replaced Girardi as manager. The Phillies immediately went on an 8-game win streak winning 14 out of their next 16 games and ultimately finished with a 65-45 under Thomson’s leadership. Since the promotion on June 2nd, only 5 teams have won more games than the Phillies from that point on. Thomson has made a difference.

“Phillies Day Care” 

Some of the younger characters on the show are nicknamed the “Day Care” because of their age. While most of the cast is comprised of experienced players, the younger characters in the day care are embraced by the veterans and make key contributions throughout the season, including Matt Vierling, Nick Maton, Darick Hall, Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott (more him later). Vierling had a defining moment when he hit a walk off home run off of Josh Hader in June. Prior to giving up that homerun, Hader hadn’t allowed in his previous 40 appearances dating back to the 2021 season.

JT Realmuto

This veteran member of the cast was having a disappointing season. In mid-July, the Phillies traveled to Toronto to play two games, but Realmuto could not accompany the team since he was not vaccinated. Some viewers of the show felt Realmutos decision to not get vaccinated was shellfish and hurt the team. However, after two days rest away in Philadelphia, Realmuto rejoined the show and and caught fire with a monster second half solidifying his status as the best catcher in baseball and leading the team in Harpers absence

Bryson Stott

Leader of the Phillies Day Care, Stott is playing his first season with the Phillies. At only 24 years old, Stott had an impressive audition in Spring Training and made the team to start the season. After struggling, then manager Joe Girardi, seemingly lost patience with Stott was from the cast. He returned due to some injuries and some ineffective play of some other characters and with consistent playing time and patience from the manager, Stott made some adjustments and finished strong with a productive August and September. 

Aaron Nola

Another long time cast member who is a former All-Star Aaron Nola. He’s been criticized in recent years for falling apart and under performing in September. This season was different as Nola delivered his best performance of the year in September and was nearly unhittable in the playoff clinching game in Houston.

Nola throws against the San Diego Padres during the first inning in Game 2 of the NLCS on October 19 (Photo courtesy of whyy (AP)

Big time free agents Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos

Both are new and were added to the cast this season in hopes of bolstering the lineup. Schwarber exceeded expectations belting 46 home runs and providing much needed locker room leadership while Castellanos had his least productive season in years.  

Longest tenured cast members Zach Eflin and Rhys Hoskins

Arriving on the show in 2016 and 2017 respectively, they are the two longest tenured Phillies. Eflin has had issues staying healthy and those issues continued this year. Hoskins has issues fielding and hitting consistently at the plate. Those issues also continued this year. However, the roles they played in October have been a crucial part to the Phillies success. Eflin transitioning from starter to reliever and closing out big games in the playoffs and Rhys Hoskins with his timely home runs and big moments have put the Phillies in the World Series. 

The Bullpen pieces Jose Alarado and Seranthony Dominguez

The Phillies failures in prior seasons can mostly be attributed to a disastrous bullpen; Alarado and Dominguez were parts of those. Alarado was so bad at the beginning of this season he was removed from the show. What happened upon his return? He was one of the best, most dominant relievers in baseball. Dominguez got hurt in 2019 and hasn’t been healthy enough to pitch until this season. How did he do? Seranthony stayed healthy for most of the year, earned nine saves and was an important and effective late inning option out of the bullpen. The bullpen was no longer a weakness.

The Antagonist

Scoring higher in the ratings this season were the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. After Mets fans traveled down the turnpike, talking trash, and took over Citizens Bank Park, the Mets did what they Mets do: choked, losing in the first round of the playoffs. The defending World Champion Atlanta Braves, who finished hotter than the Phillies and won the division, met the Phillies in the playoffs. How did that go? Keep reading…

The Playoffs

So what did this cast of characters who have been through ups and down all season do in the playoffs? In the last couple of episodes, the Phillies defeated the Cardinals in a two game sweep. They took game one in dramatic fashion with a 6-run rally in the 9th. Once they advanced, they faced their rival Atlanta Braves who proved to be no contest as the Phillies knocked them out to advance to play the San Diego Padres in the NLCS. All the games were tight, but these cast of characters prevailed in dramatic fashion to get them to where they are today. The World Series. How were the characters individual journeys?

In the season finale, the Phillies take on the Houston Astros, who will be playing in the World Series for the fourth time out of the last six years. They are used to winning. However, this is a script that we’ve seen before back in February of 2018: it featured the underdog Philadelphia Eagles against the New England Patriots who were making their fourth Super Bowl appearance in seven years. No one gave the Eagles much of a chance to beat the Patriots and future first ballot NFL Hall of Famer Tom Brady, but they fought every inch to win, 41-33. This World Series script is set up in similar fashion where no one is giving the Phillies a chance to beat the Astros and future first ballot MLB Hall of Famer Justin Verlander. The script isn’t written yet, and only the cast will determine the outcome.

You have to watch to find out. 

 

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