The 2011 season for the Philadelphia Phillies has been a joyride for most of the year. Their much-hyped starting rotation actually lived up to the hype, some unknown names at the start of the season became bullpen stalwarts and with the acquisition of Hunter Pence at the trade deadline even their on-again off-again offense seemed to hit its stride.
The Phillies won their record fifth straight NL East title faster than they ever have in team history and clinched home field throughout the playoffs. And what did they do for an encore? They haven’t won a game since.
Yes, it might be expected that the Phillies would have a bit of a letdown after their champagne-clinching celebration. Yes, it’s true that the team really doesn’t have a lot left to play for. Yes, it has been a long season and maybe they are conserving their energy for a long playoff run.
But whatever the cause, the Phillies have picked a bad time to start looking less like a juggernaut and more like the team that got unceremoniously bumped in the second round of the 2010 playoffs. A temporary setback? Maybe. But here are five obstacles the Phillies must overcome to keep their championship dreams alive.