This week we’re counting down the top 10 moments of the 2016 Phillies season.
Here is No. 5.
5. Squashing Papelbon … again
Seriously, how great was it to see Jonathan Papelbon miserable on the mound?
At the time, the Phils were streaking. They had their eyes on a sweep of the eventual division champs as well as their sixth win in seven tries. The first two wins of the series featured strong pitching performances by Vince Velasquez and Jeremy Hellickson. The third game was no different, as Aaron Nola matched Hellickson’s line of seven shutout innings while surrendering just two hits.
Other than Nola’s dominance on the mound, no action occurred until the ninth. In a game with no-score, Papelbon was called in to put out a bases loaded, no-out fire. After getting the first out, Rupp delivered with an opposite-field two-run double that led the Phillies to a sweep of the Nats in their home park. Using the brooms against the Nats is always nice, but when beating Papelbon on a – let’s say – questionable route to the ball by Bryce Harper in right field (we all know their history), it makes it that much sweeter.
Let’s relive that moment.
It turned out to be the beginning of the end for Papelbon. The closer had his worst-ever season, turning in a 4.37 ERA. He was removed from the closer’s role in Washington after the team acquired Mark Melancon. Then, on Aug. 13, the Nationals released Papelbon, the Phillies’ all-time leader in saves.