NLCS: How the Phillies Decided to Travel Home Early, Despite Their Own Losses
It didn’t take long in a year that has been full of surprises. In the first inning, the Philadelphia Phillies faced two batters with nothing to hit. Aaron Nola’s pitch to the first batter had enough torque to carry a minor league prospect to the mound. Second on the Phillies’ list, the next pitch was called a ball. It flew over the plate and landed safely inside the first-base side of the batters’ box.
While first-place Philadelphia took the opener, the Phillies went 2-for-4 with an RBI-less two-run double later in the same inning. The Phillies left four men on with a chance to turn a double play against J.D. Davis. The throw was good. The Phillies lost their third base coach the very next inning, when he fell down while attempting to run a play. It was his second on-field injury in three days.
By the end of the game, the Phillies were down to one bench player, in addition to the injured ones: Ben Revere and Chad DeLuca.
The Phillies then proceeded to fall behind by four runs in the second inning. They put runners on second and third and then walked their batters.
Things were not looking good.
Yet, in this day and age of analytics (if you can call it that), there’s been one thing the Phillies have not had to account for:
It wasn’t baseball anymore.
They just had to be more athletic.
That’s right. The Phillies were playing baseball with new rules, a new paradigm. The rules had been changed by the MLB All-Star game. And what do the new rules do? They remove the defensive elements that were needed by teams to succeed in the playoffs.
The MLB All-Star Game has become nothing more than a showcase for the most talented players in the country.