When the Philadelphia Phillies dismissed Gabe Kapler as their manager in October of 2019, managing partner John Middleton cited back-to-back September swoons as a key reason for firing the manager after two seasons.
Anyone waiting for a similar September collapse from the 2021 San Francisco Giants — managed by Kapler — didn’t receive it.
Kapler’s Giants crushed the San Diego Padres 11-4 on the final Sunday of the season, allowing them to finish at 107-55 and win the National League West:
Despite posting the most wins in baseball, the Giants had to win on the final day to clinch their division, as the defending World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers won 106 games. The Giants will advance to the NLDS, while the Dodgers will be left to play in the Wild Card Game Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals. One loss would eliminate the Dodgers.
With the win, the Giants went 23-7 between September and early October to finish the season, a far cry from the 20-36 record that the Phillies turned in during two Septembers with Kapler at the helm.
While Mike Schildt and Brian Snitker both did excellent jobs in 2021, Kapler may very well unanimously win the National League Manager of the Year. The Giants entered the season with an over/under of 75.5 wins. They ended up winning 32 more games than that, setting a new franchise record with 107 wins. The previous record holder for franchise wins were the 1904 New York Giants, who went 106-47.
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