Phillies’ Cinderella Run Falls Short of Storybook Ending


Photo by James Bonnell

James Bonnell

After a most improbable playoff run following a mediocre regular season, the 2022 Philadelphia Phillies fell two games short of a World Series Championship to the Houston Astros on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Riddled with injuries, functioning with an interim manager after firing Joe Girardi in June, and touting an 87-win regular season, the Phillies were able to squeak into the postseason for the first time in a decade.

En route to the Fall Classic, the Phillies went undefeated at home in the postseason, took down the Cardinals in two games, the defending World Series Champion Atlanta Braves organization, and the no. 5 seed San Diego Padres in the NLCS. On the other side, the 106 regular season win Houston Astros blew through the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees without losing a single playoff game.

Any other city would have been absolutely devastated to find out they were facing the best team in baseball for the championship. But not Philadelphia.

Hoisting the NLCS MVP trophy after ousting the Padres, Bryce Harper declared, “We’re gonna bring it home for Philly.”

Due to Houston’s success in the regular season, they were given home field advantage for Game 1 of the World Series. Just three innings into the contest, it seemed the advantage was working.

Down by 5, and with game one all but sealed, the Phillies went onto score six unanswered runs,nding with an extra inning home run from catcher J.T. Realmuto in the top of the tenth.

Philly took game one with a final score of 6-5.

The very next night, Philadelphia was again down by five runs, except this time in the fifth inning. Unfortunately, even late game heroics from the likes of Jean Segura, Alec Bohm and Brandon Marsh were unable to propel the team above Houston. Game two’s final score was 5-2 Houston.

After game 3 was postponed due to rain, the Philadelphia fans piled into Citizens Bank Park to watch their Phillies annihilate Houston by a score of 7-0 on Tuesday, November 2.

This is where the Phillies’ Cinderella story came to an abrupt end. None of these two teams had yet been subjected to back-to-back losses in the entire postseason. The normally raucous Phillies fan base and the team, even nursing a 2-1 series lead, seemed to have lost their fire.

Houston decided game four was a great time to take advantage of a tired Philadelphia, winning by a score of 5-0.

“After seeing what the crowd was like in game three, the atmosphere was clearly not the same in game four,” said WIP’s James Seltzer in relation to the atmosphere inside Citizens Bank Park.

This resilience would be tested yet again in game five, with the Astros inching to a 3-2 final, putting them up 3-2 in the series.

If anyone was questioning the Phillies fan base, they remained devoted as the series moved back to Houston for the last two potential games.

“You know what, I was nervous. But right now, I actually feel pretty good about this game,” remarked longtime Phillies fan Zach Sayre, in reference to game six.

As the game got started, Philadelphia was gifted hope on the wings of a Kyle Schwarber homerun for an early 1-0 lead. But after pulling pitching ace Zach Wheeler in favor of Jose Alvarado, Houston left fielder Yordan Alvarez sent the Phillies back to the airport with a three run homerun in the sixth inning.

When it was all over, the Astros took game six 4-1 and the series 4-2.