Earlier this season, when the Phillies were inexplicably having all sorts of problems beating the Marlins, I made a prediction: If the Phillies were eliminated before this final series, they would inevitably close things out with a sweep. With the Phillies’ 9-3 win on Saturday night, I’m one game away from finally being right about something!
Oh don't worry, once the Phillies have been safely eliminated, there's a 100% chance they sweep that final series with the Marlins.— Smarty Jones (@TheSmartyJones) September 5, 2019
As anyone who has followed the team will know, the Phillies haven’t had much success against their otherwise pathetic division rivals. For instance, on Friday night, it took them 15 innings to finally earn a win, and they wouldn’t have even won that game had the Marlins been able to field a routine ground ball. But on Saturday night, they certainly put the Fish in their place!
After using several pitchers on Friday, and a bullpen game scheduled for Sunday, the Phillies needed (as much as an out-of-contention team can need anything) a solid outing from starting pitcher Zach Eflin. Eflin delivered, pitching 7.2 strong innings, giving the team hope that they may have at least one in-house option for the non-Aaron Nola portion of the starting rotation next season.
What an end to the season for Zach Eflin.— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) September 29, 2019
A last-minute Neil Walker 2-run dinger was his only blemish on the night — but what an outing it was.
He’s done after 7.2 innings of 3-run ball.
He completes a tumultuous season with a 4.13 ERA. Good for him.
Eflin’s job was made easier thanks to a strong showing by the lineup. Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco both sent balls into the stands, and its possible that those were the last home runs either them will ever hit in a Phillies uniform. Bryce Harper added a three-run shot, but I feel comfortable saying that he will go on to hit more home runs for them in the future.
With the team at 81 wins, tomorrow’s season finale will provide the Phillies with a chance to earn the team’s first winning record since 2011. Perhaps more importantly, they’ll have one final opportunity to show the Marlins just who the superior team really is.