Rob "Topper" Thomson
In reality, it wasn't that long ago that the Phillies were lost without a plan.
For years, this was a franchise that clearly had the talent but lacked the proper leadership to get the best out of the ballclub. Gabe Kapler and Joe Girardi were both given chances to right the ship; both men failed miserably.
Enter Rob Thomson.
Since taking the reigns back on June 3, 2022, "Philly Rob" has won over the clubhouse, won over the fans and most importantly won a lot of baseball games. In 273 regular season games, Topper has guided the team to a 155-118 (.568) record and has been even better in the playoffs, going 16-7 (.696) in 23 postseason games.
This postseason especially, Rob Thomson's impact has truly been seen. From maneuvering his lineup to fit the matchups, which has included implementing a platoon in left field of fan favorite Brandon Marsh and Cristian Pache, to almost perfect utilization of his bullpen, it's clear Topper is locked in.
Unafraid of the criticism and clearly having faith in his guys, Rob Thomson continues to push the right buttons and has quickly risen to the level of potentially being one of the best managers in the sport.
All of this has led to Topper having the Phillies on the verge of back-to-back National League pennants.
The Phillies simply have the better roster
This is not meant to be disrespectful towards the Arizona Diamondbacks, who do have some good ballplayers themselves.
Corbin Carroll and Zac Gallen are two young players on the verge of superstardom. At the same time, guys like Ketel Marte, Christian Walker and Merrill Kelly have proven to be quality pieces in a formidable Arizona roster.
With that said, the talent discrepancy between the Phillies and Diamondbacks is pretty clear.
For what it's worth, not many teams can go toe-to-toe with star power like Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, Zach Wheeler, Aaron Nola, J.T Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos.
That's not even mentioning guys like Alec Bohm, Bryson Stott, José Alvarado, Craig Kimbrel and Ranger Suárez.
On paper, the Phillies undoubtedly have some of the best talent in the sport, which has been on display through this postseason. Harper, Turner and Castellanos are hitting a combined .424 through the team's first six playoff games, to go along with nine home runs and 13 runs batted in — pretty incredible stuff.
Schwarber is hitting .160 with zero home runs and a .462 OPS so far in these playoffs, and the Phillies still have managed to win five of the six games to this point. You have to think he is due for some positive regression.
With how the stars are playing in Philadelphia, it's hard to imagine anybody beating this Phillies team. Arizona is walking into the jungle on Monday night, and you know what they say: it's hard to win in the jungle.