This is it. The final series of the 2021 Phillies season.
For those of you who are unaware, the Phillies entered a three game series against the Atlanta Braves just 2.5 games back. Unfortunately, they were swept and eliminated from playoff contention.
What’s the goal? Well, despite the playoffs being out of the picture, there is a goal for this series. Finish above .500. This has not been done by a Phillies team since 2011 when they won 103 games. If they get swept once again, they will finish 81-81 which they did in 2012 and 2019. Technically, winning 82+ games this season is a step in the right direction.
With this said, they will be facing the Miami Marlins in a three-game weekend series to wrap up the season.
Last time they met, what’s happened since
Over the last few seasons, the Phils have struggled immensely when facing the Marlins. Especially, at LoanDepot Park.
In the beginning of September, the Phillies were in Miami and played a three game set that was set up very similarly to this current series. Friday night, they got blown out 10-3 as Kyle Gibson got rocked allowing eight earned runs. Saturday, the lost once again despite have a two-run lead going into the eighth. They also wasted a great start from Ranger Suarez once again. As they did, end up winning the third and final game of that series, this is another prime example of the Phillies struggling against this Marlins team with little to no talent on their major league roster.
Harper needs a rebound
If Bryce Harper wants to put the icing on the cake in this tight National League MVP race, this would be a great weekend to pop off. He had many struggles in the Braves series as he did not record a hit in 11 at-bats. Despite a horrendous week, he still has .300+ average and 1.000+ OPS which are crucial to staying in the front seat of this tight race for Most Valuable Player. Harper will by no means be cruising into the MVP title especially with Juan Soto’s recent success.
Great end to a great season for Wheeler
One thing to look forward to will be Sunday’s game where Zack Wheeler will take the mound in hopes to cap a career-year. Luckily, he is still under contract for the next few season so we will not be losing him anytime soon!
As we all know, Wheeler has been phenomenal this season and has become the ace of our rotation. His ability to keep his pitch count low and minimize baserunners combined with his upper nineties fastball gives him all the qualities of a top of the rotation starter.
Some farewells to Phillies icons
There could be some tears this weekend as we will most likely be saying goodbye to some longtime Phillies.
The most notable one is leftfielder Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen has been a staple in Philadelphia despite some up and downs. He was out most of 2019 with a knee injury. That 2019 season was his best season as a Philly as he posted a 116 OPS+ and batted .256. It was unfortunate to see that come to an end when he got hurt. Not only that, the entire Phillies team went downhill after losing their leadoff hitter. Despite McCutchen criticizing himself throughout this season, he still managed to post a .774 OPS and jack 26 homeruns. It’s unlikely, but still possible that the club extends him for another year.
In addition, Hector Neris and Brad “Bamboo” Miller will become free agents after this season.
Neris, who has been in the Phillies organization since 2010, made his MLB debut in 2014 and has posted a career 3.40 ERA throughout eight seasons. Many Phillies fans are confident that he will receive an extension before he officially becomes a free agent.
As for Miller, he spent two season (one full season) in Philadelphia organization. In regards to his reputation with the fans, “Icon” is a fitting word.
Finally, this could be it for other Phillies like Archie Bradley, Matt Moore, Ian Kennedy, and Freddy Galvis who spent the majority of his 2021 season in Baltimore. Now, the future of SS Didi Gregorius is still much unknown as he could be traded before the 2022 season.
Game 1: Ranger Suarez (LHP, 7-5, 1.45 ERA) vs. Sandy Alcantara (RHP, 9-14, 3.09 ERA)
Game 2: TBD vs. Jesus Luzardo (LHP, 5-9, 6.90 ERA)
Game 3: Zack Wheeler (RHP, 14-10, 2.78 ERA) vs. Pablo Lopez (RHP, 5-5, 3.03 ERA)
Runs Scored Per Game:
Runs Allowed Per Game:
Game times and broadcasts:
- Friday October 1 at 7:10pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP
- Saturday October 2 at 6:10pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP
- Sunday October 3 at 3:10 pm ET on NBC Sports Philadelphia, 1210 WPHT