A new kind of season for the Phillies

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By Ethan Shrew, Guest Columnist

Opening Day is always exciting, but this year it was different. This not only felt like a new season for the Phillies, but a new era in Philly baseball. This new era is led by one of the most intimidating offensive lineups in recent MLB history with the likes of Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and JT Realmuto.

The Phils sit at 7-2 on top of the NL East and are making waves throughout Major League Baseball with incredible moments like Bryce’s bat flip against the Nationals, Maikel Franco’s emergence, Hoskins’ power hitting and more importantly, the level of excitement from the fans. Every time Harper steps up to the plate, Citizens Bank Park explodes. It’s not just Bryce Harper that is exciting these fans, it’s the sense of hope.

For the last few years the Phillies have been notoriously terrible, excluding last year, but this year it’s different. With all the moves the front office made, it feels like we are on the brink of greatness and championship glory, but a lot still has to come together for us to be serious World Series contenders. Namely the pitching staff, finding a closer and consistency from everyone on the offensive side.

The Harper hype has begun to die down as he is starting to feel like just another player on the team, and the decline of the Harper hype seems to have simultaneously triggered the rise of Rhys, who is hitting out of his mind with a .367 batting average, five home runs and 15 runs batted in.

Last year wasn’t a great year for Rhys but he seems to have found his groove with being moved to first base and batting behind Harper in the lineup. Hoskins and Harper have the potential to be the most dangerous hitting duo in the league, and if you watch the games, you can see just how well those two get along together. It’s refreshing to see the players be just as excited about this season as the fans are.

This season might not result in a World Series, but as long as this team reaches October and wins at least one series, I would consider it a success. The roster was shaken up so much it is hard to imagine them reaching the level of chemistry and consistency needed to win it all. In my mind, this season needs to give a lot of young guys playoff experience, namely Aaron Nola, and to make this team gel together. I think this team has all the potential in the world, and a World Series is definitely realistic, but it shouldn’t be World Series or bust in the eyes of the fans.

Regardless, the Phillies have ignited this city and made it exciting to watch baseball again. We have the players and we have the fans, now all we need is a ring.