The season ended the way we all expected it to: The Phillies trailing by a run, the potential winning runs on base, and Andrew Knapp at the plate. Knapp finished the day 1-5, and if you think that the lone hit came in the climactic ninth inning, you haven’t been paying attention. As anyone who has watched the Phillies over the past two years could predict, Knapp struck out (his third strikeout of the day) and the game - and the Phillies season was over.
The Phillies didn’t have much to play for on Sunday except for a chance to finish with their first winning record since 2011 (and maybe their manager’s job). But the team showed just how important that really was when they (wisely) scratched Aaron Nola and went with a bullpen game instead.
Blake Parker was given the honor of starting things off, and promptly gave up three runs in the first inning. Edgar Garcia pitched the next two, and gave up another run, putting the Phillies in a 4-0 hole.
The four-run deficit may have seemed daunting for many teams, but the Phillies made a game of it thanks to Brad Miller who has mysteriously become the best hitter in baseball over the past two weeks.
If you thought Miller was good for just one homer on the day, you were wrong.
I’m not saying that when Mike Trout was injured he somehow transferred all of his ability to Miller like the Monstars in Space Jam. But if you can come up for a better explanation for this recent surge, I’d love to hear it.
Home runs since September 21st:— OtterHooligan (@OtterHooligan) September 26, 2019
Brad Miller: 5
Atlanta Barves: 4
Unfortunately, Miller couldn’t single-handedly lift the Phillies to victory. The bullpen held the Marlins scoreless the rest of the way, and the offense certainly had their chances, with multiple runners on base in four different innings. But the clutch hit they needed never came.
Thus ends the Phillies’ season. After a disappointing 81-81 record, it stands to reason that many of the players who appeared in today’s game will not return next season. It’s tough to know exactly who will be back, but if one thing wasn’t clear before, today should have made it blindingly obvious: Andrew Knapp should not be one of them.