On Tuesday evening, the Philadelphia Phillies’ dominant 2023 MLB season came to a sudden end as they were shocked by the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 7 of the NLCS. Many of the Phillies faithful had high hopes of returning to the World Series again this year to avenge their loss from last season. Unfortunately, their revenge tour will have to be put on hold for now.
So, what on earth went wrong for the Phillies? They seemed to be in full control throughout the series when they were up both 2-0 and 3-2 on the Diamondbacks. Here, we take a look at six things that went horribly against the Phillies’ that led to their unexpected exit from the 2023 MLB playoffs.
Home field “dis”advantage
Prior to Games 6 and 7 of the NLCS, the Phillies had been unbeatable at home at Citizens Bank Park. As a matter of fact, they actually held the current MLB record for the best winning percentage in their home ballpark in postseason history. As a result, surely they could pull off at least one win in one of the two games at home to close out the series, right?
Unfortunately, the home field advantage didn’t end up working to plan as the Diamondbacks scored early and often in both Games 6 and 7 to silence the home crowd. At the same time, the Phillies couldn’t really get anything close to a rally going, taking most of the crowd out of the game. As a result, the Phillies became their own undoing, leading to the two losses and ultimately the series.
Diamondbacks began to “run” away from the Phillies
Although the Phillies set a team record earlier this postseason with five stolen bases in a single game and stole ten bases off of the Diamondbacks’ pitching throughout the NLCS, it was actually the Diamondbacks who had the last laugh. At least when they decided to start their own track meet.
During the final two games of the NLCS, the Diamondbacks went running crazy and stole eight bases off of the Phillies when they finally realized they could take full advantage of the pitchers and catcher J.T. Realmuto.
During the 2023 regular season, Realmuto threw out a career-low 22 percent of the baserunners trying to steal, with a total of 81 runners being successful. As a result, the Diamondbacks kept the Phillies’ pitchers off their game once they managed to get on the basepaths and subsequently helped turn the tide in the series.