After a trade for J.T. Realmuto and the signing of six-time All-Star Bryce Harper, 2019 was one of the most anticipated seasons in Philadelphia Phillies history. But like the seven seasons that came before it, 2019 is going to end without the Phillies reaching the postseason.
The Phillies were officially eliminated from postseason contention Tuesday afternoon, as the Washington Nationals won the first game of a day-night double-header between the two teams, 4-1. With the loss, the Phillies drop to 79-77, and will spend the final week of the season looking to post their first winning record since 2011.
Facing elimination, the Phillies did get on the board first Tuesday, with Jean Segura giving the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on an RBI single. That said, the Phillies left the bases loaded, and while they forced starter Joe Ross to exhaust 26 pitches, they scored just one run.
That proved to be the only run that the Phillies would score. The Nationals held the Phillies hitless between the fourth and ninth innings.
Meanwhile, National League MVP candidate Anthony Rendon produced two sacrifice flies – one in the fourth inning and one in the sixth inning. Though Rendon likely will face an uphill battle to edge out Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger for the award, he figures to be one of the most coveted free-agents in some time this offseason.
Ryan Zimmerman – who literally broke into the league in 2005, the first year that the Nationals moved from Montreal – faces an uncertain future with the only team he’s ever played for. The Nationals almost certainly won’t pick up his $18 million option for 2020. But the 34-year-old, who has consistently haunted the Phillies throughout his career, added an RBI single of his own in the bottom of the sixth. That RBI, which increased the Nationals lead to 3-1, was the 111th of his career against the Phillies.
The Nationals would add another run on a bases-loaded wild pitch by Edgar Garcia in the bottom of the eighth. With all due respect to Deivy Grullon, who was making his first MLB start, it’s probably a ball that J.T. Realmuto would have blocked. Realmuto, though, is currently dealing with a knee injury, a reminder that the Phillies probably need to invest in a veteran backup catcher this offseason.
The Phillies would lose the game 4-1, officially extending their postseason drought to eight years.
RHP Aaron Nola is scheduled to square off with three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer in the second game of the double-header, a matchup that theoretically should have been must-watch television during the final week of the season. Instead, the Phillies will look to spoil the Nationals chances of hosting the National League Wild Card Game.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
- While the Phillies will turn to ace Aaron Nola in the second-half of their double-header, they used reliever Blake Parker as the opener in the first game Tuesday. Parker was excellent, striking out two and holding the Nationals scoreless in two innings.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Tuesday Sept. 24
- 7:05 p.m. ET
- Nationals Park
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- SportsRadio 94 WIP
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