Brad Miller’s two home runs were not enough as the Philadelphia Phillies dropped the final game of the regular season to the Miami Marlins, 4-3. The Phillies finish the season at 81-81 and still have not finished above .500 since they won 102 games in 2011.
Opener Blake Parker pitched a one-two-three first inning, but he got hit hard in the second. First, Starlin Castro put the Marlins up 1-0 with an opposite-field home run. Then, after Harold Ramirez reached on a single, Isan Diaz crushed a home run of his own to give the Marlins a 3-0 lead.
Miami added to their lead in the third, when Martin Prado hit a solo home run to make it 4-0. This was the 100th home run of his career and 18th against the Phillies, who he has killed his entire career. Prado was pulled prior to the ninth inning, with fans at Citizens Bank Park giving him a standing ovation. It’s possible the 35-year-old will retire, though nothing has been made official.
The Phillies got one back in the bottom of the third when Brad Miller crushed one to dead center field off of Miami’s starter Sandy Alcantara. Miller has gotten more playing time lately, and he has gone on a tear to end the season:
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) September 29, 2019
The Phillies got some chances throughout the game but failed to capitalize. In the fifth, pinch-hitter Logan Morrison and Miller both singled to bring up Bryce Harper with two on with two outs. Harper hit it hard but right at Ramirez in center field to end the threat.
In the seventh inning, Adam Haseley doubled and Maikel Franco reached on an error to give the Phillies first and third with one out and Andrew Knapp coming to the plate. Knapp struck out, but Sean Rodriguez walked to load the bases for pinch-hitter Phil Gosselin. Gosselin struck out looking, though, and the Phillies deficit remained at three.
In the seventh, the Phillies got two back. After Cesar Hernandez reached on a bunt single to start the inning, Miller crushed a home run to dead center, his second of the game, trimming the deficit to one:
Bamboo Brad has been on fire to end this season. pic.twitter.com/tIywUSoXS9
— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) September 29, 2019
It was Miller’s third multi-home run game since last Saturday, an impressive feat considering how long it had been for a Phillie to do it:
Brad Miller is the first Phillie with three multi-homer games in a season since Ryan Howard did it in 2011. All of Miller's multi-homer games have come in the last eight days.
— Jonny Heller (@jonnyheller) September 29, 2019
While the Phillies were battling back at the plate, their bullpen was shutting the Marlins offense down. Nick Vincent, Mike Morin, Austin Davis, Jared Hughes and Jose Alvarez combined to throw six scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and striking out six.
However, the Phillies were unable to score in the final two innings, and dropped this one to a final score of 4-3.
The Phillies struggled all season against the Marlins, going 9-10 against them despite clearly having a more talented roster. They are one of just three National League teams to finish below .500 against Miami this year.
It was a fitting end to a disappointing 2019 season for the Phillies. They went 12-16 in the month of September and failed to finish above .500 for the eighth consecutive season. In the coming days, the Phillies plans should become clear regarding the future of manager Gabe Kapler after two consecutive late-season collapses.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- Blake Parker had an easy first inning, but failed to record an out in the second while allowing two home runs. This continued a trend for Phillies starters in 2019, the year of the juiced ball:
Blake Parker's two home runs allowed pushes the season total to 156 allowed by Phillies starters, now the most in a single season in franchise history.
— Jonny Heller (@jonnyheller) September 29, 2019
- Parker’s line: 1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
- Sandy Alcantara needed 8.2 IP to reach the 200 inning milestone on the season. He was unable to reach that mark, but had a solid outing to wrap up an impressive rookie season for the Marlins. His line: 6 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Phillies Nuggets Player of the Game: Brad Miller
Miller has gotten more playing time lately, and he has gone on a tear to end the season. His home runs weren’t enough today, but he leads the Phillies with eight home runs in the month of September and has seven since September 21st. He has flashed enough in this stretch to make him a consideration for the Phillies to bring back next season as a bench player.
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