Final Score: Phillies 5, Marlins 0
It’s been a long time coming, but the Phillies finally have the elusive win No. 82 under their belt. Although it was their first meaningless game of the season, the Phils showed that they haven’t packed their bags just yet.
Behind another Ranger Suárez masterpiece, and a monster game from Bryce Harper, the Phillies earned a total team victory to break their four-game losing streak. They walked into the Miami house of horrors, and snatched an easy victory from the Fish.
The Phillies got on the board in the third inning, thanks to a rocket RBI single from Odúbel Herrera. Marlins starter Sandy Alcántara had hit the first two batters in the inning; Andrew Knapp and a squaring Ranger Suárez.
Herrera’s single gave the Phillies their first lead since Sept. 25th, coincidentally Ranger’s last start.
Harper then followed up with an RBI double into the right-center field power alley. He thought it was gone off the bat, and to his credit, it left a sizable dent in the padding about a foot from the top of the wall. Harper rolled his left ankle pulling into second base, and although it appeared dire at first, he opted to remain in the game.
With the third inning rally continuing, Didi Gregorius added a third Phillies run on a sacrifice fly to right field. It was only a few feet from clearing the wall for a grand slam, which would’ve been his first since May 5.
In the fifth inning, Harper managed to hit one over the wall, good for his 35th home run of the season, proving his ankle was OK:
Harper has now hit 35 home runs in each of his first two full seasons with the Phillies. What’s more, his 13 in 2020 put him on pace for 36 in a full season. That’s remarkably consistent power, the likes of which arguably haven’t been seen in Philadelphia since Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Harper also eclipsed 100 runs on the season with that home run.
Matt Vierling added a late Phillies run with a mammoth blast that glanced off the balcony in deep left-center. It was 109 mph off the bat, and went 433 feet. It was quite the shot for his second Major League homer:
After Suárez’s seven scoreless innings, Héctor Neris and Ian Kennedy each tossed scoreless innings of their own.
The Phillies are 82-78. Although the elimination in Atlanta was a total gut punch, finally finishing with a winning record is a somewhat worthwhile consolation prize.
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Performance
Ranger Suárez: 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO, 101 pitches
Another gem for Suárez. He racked up a career high in strikeouts, and once again received some timely double plays from his middle infield.
Since becoming a starter two months ago, Suárez has shown that he can genuinely compete with Cy Young Award candidates. He may even receive some down-ballot votes, come Cy Young Award voting time. If he ever puts up these numbers over a full season, it would put him square in the middle of that conversation. He’ll get his first chance to do that next April.
Sandy Alcántara: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 80 pitches
Although he was roughed up over his five innings of work, tonight was the capstone of a brilliant season for Alcántara. Tonight he made his 33rd start of the season, setting a career high after his 32 outings in 2019. He crossed the 200 mark for both innings pitched and strikeouts, with 205 2/3 and 201, respectively. It’s the first time in Alcántara’s career that he’s reached 200 of either.
He ends the season with a 3.19 ERA, giving the Marlins a formidable one-two punch between him and Trevor Rogers. Regaining Sixto Sánchez next year should make things very interesting for the Marlins’ starting rotation.
Phillies Nugget Of The Game
Going back to Sept. 20 against Baltimore, Suárez has an active scoreless streak of 21 innings. That’s the longest scoreless streak for a Phillie since Aaron Nola’s 22 in 2019.
Ticket IQ Next Game
- Saturday, Oct. 2 vs. Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park
- 6:10 p.m. ET
- TV: NBC Sport Philadelphia
- Radio: SportsRadio 94 WIP
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