The first thing we as fans love to do after a loss is find blame. For some particular reason, we find comfort in it. We need to build reasoning for why they lost, and thus a person to find fault in.
But this year, for some reason, it just wasn't meant to be.
Obviously, this statement is somewhat contradictory. Because for all intents and purposes, it should have been meant to be. They had a prolific, dominant pitching staff and a solid, albeit inconsistent lineup. The latter cost them in October. But through the pain and suffering of defeat, this year at least, it's difficult to pinpoint blame on any particular person.
We could blame Charlie Manuel, but he can't hit for his players. We could blame Ruben Amaro Jr. for not building a postseason-winning team, but obviously that logic is completely flawed. We could blame members of the pitching staff, but ultimately what more could we ask for? Perhaps the only group we can find some fault in is the offense, but in reality the top half of the lineup had a decent series.
It was a close series. The closest series the Phillies have seen during their five-year run as division champions. Each game was easily within reach for either team. But in the do-or-die Game 5, our Fightins' just didn't have it. The offense was non-existent. It happens. It's frustrating, humiliating, and just downright awful, but it happens.
There are things to take away from this series. An upgrade at third and left field would be nice. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins proved to be an essential part of the lineup, and resigning him should be a high priority. Cole Hamels continued his postseason dominance, and an extension should be in the works.
Amaro will undoubtedly take these ideas and formulate them into some offseason moves. In the meantime, we as fans will continue to feel the harsh blow of reality. That even come the beginning of the 2012 season, we'll have to wait. Because even if they win 100 games again next year, none of it will matter unless they can find a way to win again in October.
That said, they owe us. They owe us big.