We all thought this series was going to mean something. We figured that the Phillies would still be in contention - possibly even leading the division - when this series began. We figured that their chances of making the playoffs was going to hinge upon beating the Marlins. And we figured that like just about every other time they’ve visited Miami over the past few years, they would utterly crap the bed.
But we were wrong! The Phillies got all the bed crapping out of the way before they went to Miami. And because of that, this series will not be what kills the Phillies’ season. Instead, this series will be almost completely meaningless.
Record: 65-94 (Fourth place in National League East)
The last time they met
The Phillies were just in Miami a few weeks ago, losing two out of three games. And the one game they did win came in extra innings. And that’s just another reason why the Phillies aren’t making the playoffs.
The Marlins have gone 8-15, and have lost eight of their last ten games. Does that mean they won’t play well this weekend? Not based on recent history.
There was a time when Joe Panik was considered a rising star. He made an All-Star team and won a Gold Glove by his third season. But his offense and defense both declined quickly, and these days. he’s barely replacement level. For some reason, the Marlins traded for him in July, and after having a bad first part of the season with the Blue Jays, he went on to play even worse after the trade.
Normally, guys who I highlight here go on to have big series. But Panik won’t be able to hurt the Phillies this weekend. (Not that it matters either way.)
Joe Panik is not going with the #Marlins back to Miami. Panik's wife is pregnant and is due to give birth, so he's staying in New York (he was born in Yonkers and lives in Hopewell Junction, about an hour and a half from Queens)— Jordan McPherson (@J_McPherson1126) October 1, 2021
Anything else to say about the Marlins?
Sandy Alcantara is about to enter his arbitration years, which means he’s going to get a lot more expensive soon. Normally, this is when the Marlins start to think about jettisoning players. Unfortunately, the Phillies don’t have anything remotely appealing enough in their farm system to get involved in those inevitable trade discussions.
How about seeing some of the younger players, Joe?
The Phillies died as they lived: Relying on veteran players who aren’t that good, while younger - and potentially better - players languished on the bench or in the minors.
Matt Vierling was given a chance to bat leadoff last week, and he did well. Did that merit another start at leadoff in the ensuing games? Nope! Instead, Joe Girardi went back to Odubel Herrera and his .290 on-base percentage as a leadoff hitter.
Instead of seeing what Alec Bohm or Nick Maton could do on the left side of the infield, we got some combination of Didi Gregorius, Freddy Galvis, and Ronald Torreyes. Surprisingly, none of them provided much offense. While concerns about Bohm’s defense are valid, they seem a bit empty when you consider how bad Didi has been for most of the season.
Also Didi made at least two "Girardi would have benched Bohm for a week" level bad plays last night in the field https://t.co/9a3NFpawCq— Matt Winkelman (@Matt_Winkelman) September 22, 2021
Just think what would have happened if Ranger Suarez had been with the team all year? He could have taken some of those high-leverage relief appearances from David Hale, or if used in the rotation, we would have gotten that many fewer starts from the likes of Matt Moore and Vince Velasquez.
Hopefully now that the Phillies have nothing but pride and a winning record to play for, Girardi might actually give some of the young guys a chance. Three games isn’t a huge sample size to evaluate their worthiness for next year, but I’d much rather see that than another poor at bat by Galvis.
As has been pointed out elsewhere, the Phillies’ developmental system has a lot of problems. And the major league manager seems to be one of them.
Braves fans remain humorless fools
Every time I go a little extra when previewing a Braves series, the commentariat at Talking Chop gets very upset. Apparently, I’m not acting like an impartial journalist, to which I reply, “Duh.” They also believe it is classless to mention that Tyler Matzek has a punchable face, even though most of them have probably thought the same thing.
If any of them have come back over to read this, all I can say is: Enjoy your inevitable playoff loss. For your sake, let’s hope its a run-of-the-mill loss to a better team as opposed to a choke job or horrific meltdown like in years past.
Just a reminder
Someone needs to wake the Green Day guy up today. #horsejoke
I didn’t provide a trivia question for the Braves’ series preview. Maybe that was bad luck, and that’s why the Phillies lost? In case you were sitting on the edge of your seat awaiting the answer from the series prior: Andrew McCutchen had two multi-homer games at CBP as a member of the Pirates. SLDH was first with the answer.
Since this is the last series, I’d like to thank everyone for participating. Some of you either have encyclopedic knowledge about the Phillies, or you’re very quick with the Yahoo! searches. Either way, hope you had fun.
What to expect
- The Eagles will lose to the Chiefs, but Jalen Hurts will rebound from last week’s poor game
- The Flyers will return to the playoffs in 2022.
- Ben Simmons will not suit up for the 76ers, but he will not be traded before the season begins.
Closing thought that may or may not be relevant to the series
This is the last series of the season, which means this will be my final series preview of the year. I’m not sure if they’ll continue in 2022, as after four years, it might be getting a bit stale. Regardless, I hope you’ve enjoyed them, and thanks to everyone who takes the time to read them.