Yes, it's early. If you compare a Major League season with a calendar of 16 NFL games, the Phillies are approximately at halftime of their Week 1 game.
Still, for anyone who has seen this team, it can not be denied, something special is happening with this team.
The Phillies' sensational start to the season came to a halt in Washington DC on Tuesday night and beat the former National Team's Bryce Harper team 6-2.
When the Phillies chased away the ace of the Max Scherzer Nationals, it was hard to see them without thinking about the last team that brought a championship to Philadelphia: the 2017 Eagles.
They have personality and confidence: The Eagles now avoided showing how confident they were in 2017, and that seems to be the attitude that this Phillies team is also taking. The Phillies players made it clear from the moment that Harper signed that they knew they were capable of winning the World Series. Jean Segura said it openly. The confidence they have shown is very similar to the attitude with which the Eagles played in 2017, when they entered each game knowing that they were the best team and then they came out and played like that. The Phillies have behaved with the same attitude so far this season, and it is very unlikely that confidence will disappear.
They fought to win last year: The Phillies surprised many by jumping to a good start in 2018 and competing for a division title much later in the season than expected, like the Eagles in 2016. It's easy to forget now, but the Eagles jump to a 3- 0 started in 2016, and they were in the playoff race until December. They did not make the postseason that year, but theta showed signs that they were not far away, and the near losses in 2016 became victories in 2017. Teams usually need a year to learn how to win. The Eagles had that year in 2016. The Phillies seem to have had that year last season, and are ready to capitalize this season.
They celebrate: The electric slide, Torrey Smith's home run, Alshon Jeffery throwing a strike – the Eagles had a lot of fun in 2017 and they held many celebrations throughout the season. The Phillies, as Rhys Hoskins' chin can attest, have also shown that they are not afraid to have fun. Harper said he has a handshake with each of his clbadmates. The Phillies greet each other when you reach second base. They throw alley-oops in the gardens when the tickets are finished. It may be in the shoes of rival teams, but like the Eagles opponents in 2017, there is nothing other teams can do while the Phillies win.
They added veterans: One of the reasons why the Eagles had such depth in 2017 was the senior staff executive, Howie Roseman, who took the gold in a series of hiring veterans who were under the radar. Chris Long, Nick Foles, Patrick Robinson, LeGarette Blount, all played an important role in helping the Eagles win the Super Bowl. Considering the exaggeration that the signing of Harper received, almost all the other incorporations of the Phillies flew under the radar, but four parties in the season, have made their presence known. Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto has made a big difference in this lineup. From McCutchen's home run, to Realmuto's work behind the plate, until Segura hit a double with the bases loaded Tuesday night. Harper has the headlines, and rightly so, but it is the depth of this team that makes them so special.
They have a leader: The 2017 had Carson Wentz, and then in the end, they had Nick Foles. Every great team needs a leader and it is clear that the Phillies have their leader in Bryce Harper. Harper could not have asked for a better start for the 2019 season or his stay in Philadelphia. Harper not only has three homers in four games, two of which have landed on the top floor, but he has completely captured the city's attention as Wentz did in 2017. The baseball season is long, but there's no reason to it. To think that Harper is not on his way to a very, very special season with the Phillies.
You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at [email protected]!