The Philadelphia Phillies are back in the MLB playoffs for the second straight season. For that to happen, plenty of things have to go right over the course of a 162-game season. All facets of the team have to lift the team to win because it’s a team game. There are always catalysts for leading the charge of winning baseball.
The 2023 Philadelphia Phillies, like the 2022 Phillies, are special. That, along with so many other reasons, made it a real brain workout to crunch this list down to three players. Like last year’s team, it had its catalysts in breaking the postseason curse.
This year, Trea Turner, Bryson Stott and Cristopher Sánchez carried the torch, rising above the rest of their teammates, to make it consecutive postseason berths for the Phillies.
Trea Turner being a reason the Phillies would return to play playoff baseball was the expectation in Spring Training and on Opening Day. That expectation was soiled by Turner’s most prolonged slump of his career through the first 100 games or so of the season.
Ever since "The Ovation," Turner has been reinvigorated with the baseball powers he has possessed his entire career. The outward display of support and connection to Turner's success from the fans allowed Turner to relax a bit. The gesture let him know the fans will be there for him as long as he always tries his best.
Turner has certainly shown his appreciation through his play after that first at-bat against the Kansas City Royals on Aug. 4. He hit for a .344 batting average while racking up 65 hits, 16 home runs, 41 runs batted in, 42 runs scored and nine stolen bases.
On the day of "The Ovation," the Phillies came into the game with a 59-50 record, and the team was in the thick of contention for an NL Wild Card spot with four or five teams. Without Turner's return to his two-time All-Star self, the team may not be in the position that it finds itself in. It was the breakout that Turner, his teammates, coaches, fans and the rest of the baseball team had been waiting for.
NEXT: A playoff hero who helped carry the team most of the season.