The Philadelphia Phillies have not played in the playoffs since 2011 when they played the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Division Series. That series was a 3-2 loss. 2010 was another of the last appearances of the Phillies in the playoffs, they won the NL Division Series against the Reds 3-0, but then lost 4-2 in the NL Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants.
In the 2021 MLB season they closed with positive numbers, 82 wins and 80 losses, the second best team in the East Division in the National League. The Phillies tried their best to steal the spot from the Braves but in the end Atlanta clinched the division at 88-73.
The team won one of the last three games of the season, but against the Braves they could do nothing during the final series of the season and were swept 3-0. For Bryce Harper, Phillies' right fielder, that was painful and he said, referring to the series against the Braves:
“After those three games, I feel like I let my team down,”, “I feel like I let the city of Philadelphia down. But also with that, we ran into some really good pitching. And sometimes that happens.” (Harper with Zolecki interview)
Harper's experience is good for the team
Harper is in his third year with the Phillies, he joined the team in 2019 after leaving the Washington Nationals. He played 141 games in the 2021 MLB season, more than double the previous season (58) due to injury, and slightly less than his first season with the team with 157 games. On the Phillies' first winning season in years, Harper added:
“….You talk about the first winning season. When I signed up to play here, I wasn’t worried about winning seasons, right? You sit there and you think it’s going to happen, no matter what. You think as a team, as an organization, you build it to be great. As we sit here, we have our first winning season in a long time. And that’s great for the Phillies. But I don’t want it to be like that. I don’t want to just sit here and think to ourselves, ‘Hey, this is great. We have a winning season.” (Harper with Zolecki interview)
Bryce Harper wants to win titles with the Phillies
The Phillies have not won a big title since 2008 when they won the World Series, but the most recent titles were in 2010 and 2011 for the East Division. Bryce Harper said he hopes the team will play better next year:
“Whatever that number is at the end of the year, we need to be better. As a team, as an organization, what we need to get better at, how we need to get better. Looking ourselves in the mirror, wondering as a team, as an organization, what do we want the Phillies to be? How do we want to build it? How good can we be next year?” (Harper with Zolecki interview)