It’s amazing to think that this Phillies team won’t lose 100 games. They’ll end up having a better record than the 2015 Phillies, who went 63-99. Earlier in the year, it was inconceivable that they’d avoid the 100+ loss mark. I was convinced this team would lose 110, 120, 180, 200 games. Not all of those numbers are possible, but you get the point. It was dark.
But with last night’s 4-1 win over the Nationals, they’ll avoid the 100 loss mark again. Meaning that throughout the entirety of this rebuild, the Phillies will have never been a 100-loss team. Something could go wrong next year, of course, but the team we’re seeing, even with the funk they’re in, they’re not a 100-loss team.
I have to admit something. At this point in the year, after 150-something games, I’m usually pretty burned out. The season is ending, the Phillies aren’t going to be in the postseason, and they won’t make any significant moves until November, once the World Series is done. I’m tired, and even a win couldn’t shake it. The game started at 7, and I spent the first hour-plus making an anniversary dinner for me and my boyfriend. (Flank steak rolled and stuffed with an herb and shallot gremolata, prosciutto, and provolone cheese, topped with a balsamic glaze. It was tasty.) As the Phillies tied the game 1-1 in the third, I was turning the steak on the skillet in the oven and having a relaxing adult beverage.
I saw Cameron Rupp’s go-ahead double from the kitchen as well, and by the time we both sat down with our food, Jake Thompson was walking toward the dugout and Edubray Ramos was running in from the bullpen. Ramos would start four full innings of scoreless, hitless relief for the Phillies bullpen. He was followed by Adam Morgan, Luis Garcia, and finally Hector Neris.
As Neris closed out the game with his signature hat-off-and-hands-toward-the-heavens, I let an errant thought come out of my mouth: I’d love to see Neris finish a game that meant something. A postseason win or a playoff series. Neris might not be the closer, or even with the team, the next time the opportunity arises. But for the first time in years, we can make out the image of the playoffs in the future, and it doesn’t seem wrong to think about it anymore. And when you’re burned out on the grind of the season, sometimes that’s all you need to hear.