Kyle Schwarber has been with four different teams in his Major League career. He won a World Series with the 2016 Chicago Cubs and made it to the ALCS with the 2021 Boston Red Sox. He is no stranger to successful clubhouses and passionate fanbases.
After Tuesday night's Game 2 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Schwarber shed some light on why he thinks this Phillies team has experienced so much success:
Schwarber's comments may not come as a major shock to Phillies fans who have followed the club closely for the last two seasons. It's apparent that these guys love playing together. They always have each other's backs and appear to have fun while grinding through the grueling 162-game schedule.
One of the most obvious cases was when Trea Turner received his standing ovation back in August and the whole club rallied around him. The image of Nick Castellanos standing on the top step of the home dugout waving a towel and cheering with the crowd will be engrained in many Phillies fans' memories for years to come.
Schwarber and the Phillies love the city and fans
As Schwarber notes, this team doesn't just have a connection within the clubhouse; it has a connection with the city and the fans. The players acknowledge the fanbase every chance they get. It seems as if the team and the fans feed off of each other.
One of the biggest storylines of the postseason — nationally, as well as locally — has been how well the Phillies have played at home. They have yet to lose a home game in the 2023 playoffs and are 28-11 in Citizen's Bank Park postseason history. This year may be one of the first times in recent memory that Phillies fans are lauded by the national media rather than criticized. Player comments have fueled that positivity. The players on this Phillies team were built to play in Philadelphia, and the fanbase acknowledges that.
Schwarber and his teammates' performances have spoken for themselves. Schwarber tied the legendary Reggie Jackson's record of 18 postseason home runs for a left-handed hitter on Tuesday night. Turner is the first and only player in MLB history to have 3-plus home runs, 4-plus stolen bases, and 5-plus doubles in a single postseason. So many other players have also made significant contributions.
Phillies proving that chemistry is just as important as payroll
Chemistry makes all the difference between successful teams and unsuccessful teams. Look at the New York Mets ($343 million payroll) and San Diego Padres ($256 million payroll) in 2023. Both were projected to win more games than the Phillies prior to the regular season, but both teams experienced clubhouse issues per reports that came out at different times over the course of the season.
The Phillies love playing the game for each other. They hold each other accountable and want to win for the other guys in that clubhouse. They want to win in front of their fans and match the passion on the field with the level that the crowd brings to the stands every night.
The recipe Schwarber spoke about postgame on Tuesday seems to be working for the 2023 Phillies. Happy, comfortable and passionate players who want to go to war with each other every day are going to see success.
Can this tight-knit group of players reach the pinnacle of success and bring a World Series trophy to Philadelphia? Only time will tell.