Going into Wednesday night's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park, the Phils trailed the Pirates by eight games in the National League wild card race. There were a scant six teams in front of them, including the Pirates, but I don't let trivial things like numbers, calculations and odds bother me.
So what if Fangraphs said the Phils had a 0.0% chance of making the playoffs. And numberFire.com. I chose to put my faith in the good people at the four-letter network, ESPN, who had the Phils' chances of making the postseason at 0.1% going into Wednesday night's game.
Am I deterred by the Phils' 6-3 loss to the Pirates, the very team they are chasing in the wild card race, to fall nine games back with 17 to play? Of course not. I remain hale and hearty.
I also just did, like, a wheelbarrow full of bath salts, so that may be playing a role in something here.
The Phils had come into their series with Pittsburgh playing well, winning five of their previous six series, all against winning teams. However, the best they can do now is earn a split with Pittsburgh in the final game of their four-game series on Thursday night.
Any of those delusional few who really believed the Phillies had a shot at the postseason (Ben Revere, I'm looking in your direction) should finally be able to rest and make alternate plans for October.
An old friend paid a visit to the Phils on Wednesday night, he of the goggles and insane sneaker collection, Pirates starter Vance Worley. He pitched well, giving up three runs on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks in five innings of work. His ERA on the season is 3.18.
The Phillies were especially dormant against the Pittsburgh bullpen, failing to register a baserunner after the fourth inning. In all the Phils managed just four hits, none of them from Ben Revere, who is now 0-for-the series, with his batting average down to .308.
Revere also misjudged a long fly ball off the bat of Andrew McCutchen that hit high off the angled wall in center field, resulting in a very exciting, stand-up, inside-the-park home run. Here's the video for you to click on since the good folks at MLB.com don't want to let me embed it. One day you will pay, evil overlords.
Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin, who is quietly having a fantastic season for the Pirates, hit a home run and totaled three RBIs, as well.
In other happy fun-time developments, Domonic Brown had to leave the game after a failed diving attempt on a fly ball. Multiple beat writers all tweeted at the exact same moment that Brown had suffered a shoulder contusion...
We suck. pic.twitter.com/Qwm7vmvARq— Dennis Deitch (@DennisDeitch) September 11, 2014
...which brought on the unusual sight of Darin Ruf entering the contest as a late-inning defensive replacement in left.
Don't worry, everybody. Even without Brown potentially out of the lineup for a while, manager Ryne Sandberg will find a way to keep Ruf on the bench. Don't you even fret about it.
Jerome Williams took the loss for the Phils, giving up four runs on seven hits, although he did pile up eight strikeouts and just one walk. His ERA is now 5.44.
The Phils then decided to pitch every single Latin pitcher on the 25-man roster, starting with Paul Owens Award winner Luis Garcia. While Garcia throws hard and had an outstanding season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, he is a 27-year-old relief pitcher, and has had kind of a tough transition to the Majors. He failed to get a single batter out after entering in the sixth, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk, raising his ERA to a healthy 12.27 on the season.
Quite a way to celebrate your new award, Luis.
Left-hander Cesar Jimenez did a terrific job working out of the bases loaded, no-out jam created by Garcia without giving up another run, and followed it up with a scoreless seventh, before Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez came in to pitch the eighth. The young Cuban worked around a one-out double and struck out two, walking none.
Sean O'Sullivan, most decidedly not a Latin pitcher, threw a scoreless ninth.
So, that's your ballgame, kiddos. A neat, tidy, 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates that puts a serious damper on those playoff hopes.