We are lonely again with defeat. The nakedness of the nine men, each on his own island, consisted of freshly raked soil and cut grass. Suddenly the glow went out – the angelic glow of the stadium lights turned into a harsh glow, the merry applause of the crowd turned into cold blue seats, and the collective anticipation of a city holding its breath was now extinguished. resigned.
One week was enough for the Phillies to get this city up and running, a week of pure perfection to summon the spirit of their fans, but a chasm ended in the afternoon. However, it doesn’t make sense to get into tonight’s three games against the Marlins, who lost 13-1 to the lower Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. The bottom line is what the Phillies’ nine-game winning streak has given them.
No, it didn’t raise their position in the division rankings from third, but the consistency gave them a .500 record – without it, current discussions around the team could have revolved around sales instead of buying in recent trading history. This led them under the leadership of interim manager Rob Thompson – the third MLB manager to win at least one of the first eight games of his career since at least 1900. Most importantly, he gave them something feelthe probable spark, perhaps in fact this strange experiment could actually be carried out.
You can see this last Friday night, when the team appeared after five runs under the second shot against the Diamondbacks – a cheerful gathering in front of the shelter, with each teammate waiting to cheer before the party. area. For a moment, these players were no longer alone. Even if played with a team, baseball can be their single most popular sport – when you move alone, your performance affects the whole team – each mistake and misstep increases with the success of your teammates. In a sense, you are fighting for others, not actually fighting them.
The loneliness of baseball makes moments like Friday night’s second shootout so special – they bring together a diverse group of men struggling to win a failed game. It was the product of an infectious charisma that had taken over the ball club, begging to be felt since the first time they felt it on the city’s opening day.
Since the advent of the moneyball era, numerous studies They tried to unravel the mystery of team chemistry – a component that directly affects success in baseball more than any other sport. What no one can understand is what suddenly triggered a team like the Phillies, who had been arguing before? How well does an equation that hasn’t worked all season suddenly work?
The answer cannot be found in the infinite number of rows and rows, nor can it be seen in the faces that fill the clubhouse – among the things we can and will never know the secret of team chemistry. But what we do know is that chemistry, even if it arises from overcoming that charisma, cannot arise within a team, but it only comer top club. It is as natural as electricity in the summer night sky – it can only be felt, not produced.
Whether it’s the Phillies’ .500 record or his position in the division, it’s just hopeful to feel this spark. The nine-game winning streak isn’t built to last – that’s the beauty of it. At best, it’s an indication of a bigger trend, and at worst, a short electric moment in the middle of a low-watt season for a high-yielding team. Continuing to strengthen this trend for the rest of the season will depend on the players who feel that spark and know what they are capable of.
Selected Photo: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty