PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — Since 2011, the last time the Phillies had a winning record, the last time the Phillies made the playoffs, and the last time the Phillies were postseason contenders, another team down South was building in the hopes of one day being the Phillies—the Washington Nationals.
It’s an interesting juxtaposition, since 2011 was the last time the Nationals were below .500 (80-81), the last time they scored fewer runs than they gave up, and the last time they didn’t contend for the National League East title.
The Nationals built through the draft (Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Stephen Strasburg), free agency (Max Scherzer, Jayson Werth, and Daniel Murphy) and trade (Adam Eaton). The Phillies, meantime, gradually got too old and waited too long to do anything about their aging lineup.
Now it leaves both teams where they are today—the contending Nationals and the Phillies, who are gradually building back up again, but will not be where the Nationals are for at least another two or three years.
Hopefully, Phils’ general manager Matt Klentak can use a portion of the Nationals’ template to make the Phils winners again.
One thing is certain, this season has started better than 2016. The Phils have one at least one game through the first four they’ve played, unlike 2016, when they started 0-4. In the meantime, another 90-loss season looms, while the Nationals appear headed to winning 90 or more games again for the third time in the last four years.
Klentak’s message prior to the home opener was for the fanbase to be patient—the residing mantra of all four major Philadelphia pro teams.