It's a team that on paper should have run the table, I am talking about the Phillies potent lineup that has been in place for the past couple seasons. Whenever you have 3 or 4 starting pitchers that legitimately can be called 'Aces' of a pitching staff, you're bound to go to great places.
Last year, the Phillies turned in a great season. The team won more games than any other team that the Phillies had on the field in a 162 game season. When it came to the postseason, the story was different though in 2010, the offense didn't click at the right time, and we were out of the Division series.
This past season in 2012, you could point to the reasons that the Phillies didn't do well at all. Injuries plagued the Phillies for much of the season, and though the team finished at .500, a few games (or more than a few games) that they should have won during the season but didn't, led to them not getting in the playoffs at all.
In 2010, the Phillies had that dream team in place. They made it to the NLCS and lost to a determined San Francisco Giants, who just happened to pull it all together and really start playing their best baseball in the playoffs this year. The Giants went all the way to winning the World Series in 2010, they re-energized and retooled and were able to make it again this year.
The Giants did it this year not by playing certain players that are minor league hopefuls that eventually work their way up into the league as Dom Brown and John Mayberry have been doing, the Giants have pulled together a youthful but well experienced group of players that have played well together as a team.
It hasn't been easy for the Giants, they have made it to the World Series the hard way. They played a Game 5 in the Division Series with the Reds, and then went to 7 games and had to win 3 straight from the Cardinals to make it into the World Series.
The Phillies can learn something from this success of the Giants. The Giants had to produce and hit at clutch times, something that hasn't been happening for the Phillies even though they have talented players. What is the reason for that? The Phillies just gave a solid player over to the Giants in Hunter Pence, who has the youth and the team mantra stuff down pretty good. The way he plays isn't to hit a zillion home runs, but to add to the team and along the way, he is playing very good as well. He led the Phillies anemic offense through most of the season but then we get rid of him?
More on this through the offseason as well, there will be months to think about and write about how the success of the postseason is eluding the Phillies. Will 2013 be the season that will be different?