The Astros making it I kinda figured.
You know, with all the teams in the AL race, I kinda figured the feel-good ones would eat themselves, the Yankees would collapse, and nobody would be able to stop the Astros, and they'd make it to another World Series by the strength of their unreprimanded core.
But the Phillies? The 2022 Phillies making it to a World Series over teams like the Braves, Dodgers, Padres and Cardinals? GOD no. I'm...still in shock.
The Phillies, as I've discussed, have so many flaws that have prevented themselves from seeming great, and none of them have really been on display this postseason. I thought Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott were weak young infielders that made too many mistakes, they've been great in the playoffs and Bohm has looked more legitimate than ever. I thought the outfield defense was atrocious, Castellanos has made some amazing catches and Marsh has been a big step up from other options. I thought the bullpen was gonna fall apart like they usually do, and it turns out that Jose Alvarado, Andrew Bellatti, Seranthony Dominguez, David Robertson and Brad Hand have, for the most part, held their own.
So yeah...Astros are going against the Phillies in the World Series. I'm...floored. I had no idea this was an option. Here we are.
And it's great, because the sportswriters are gonna go 'HOW WILL IT GO WHEN THIS TITAN OF A TEAM TAKES ON THE LITTLE PHILLIES', and like, dude, we already know. They had a tense three game series before the playoff started, Aaron Nola allowed 2 hits against the toughest team in the majors, the 'Stros won the series but only barely due to a tight 3rd game. Yes, the Astros won 2 of 3, but they had to work a little harder for it.
Now, the Astros haven't lost a playoff game yet this season. The last loss the Astros had...was at the hand of the Philadelphia Phillies. So many of the Astros' playoff games were won on by 1 or 2 points. They've been undefeated, but they haven't been blowouts.
...2007 Patriots, meet the 2007 Giants. Good luck holding onto the win column.
And as we eulogize,
Man, the Padres got damn close. I genuinely thought they had the pennant down when they took out the Dodgers. I genuinely thought that, with Machado and Soto together, they could make a legendary World Series team. But...man did the Phils have their number this week. It was a hell of a series, but they were just outmatched. It was awesome to see Austin Nola hit one out on his brother's pitch, though.
Money can buy a lot of things. It can buy contracts, and expensive seats behind home plate, and advertising deals, and incentive for the best prospects to come by. It cannot buy Championships. The Excess Spending Yankees have only won 1 Championship since 9/11, and since the true rise of the emphasis on capital in America. The teams that overspend and buy everybody don't really win as much anymore, and it's always the scrappy young teams that gain momentum late, as it should be, that take it. The Astros aren't exactly an over-spendy team, they're just extremely well built and know how to run their organization. The Yankees think that just paying for great players will work instead of actually building an organization, like Cashman and co. did in the 90s, and we're really not at that point anymore.
The Yankees probably won't win a World Series until they accept this. The answer is not paying too much money to sign Jacob deGrom, the answer is developing people who, with one swing of a bat, can make Jacob deGrom wish he was never born. We can no longer sign the best, we have to be the best.
Let Judge go, bring up Volpe, trade the guys who only hit .220, and start over. Or else it's gonna be 3 more years to losing to the goddamned Astros.
Phils-Astros is gonna be fun. I hope the Phils can somehow win it.