It has not been the easiest of seasons for the Phillies, or their fans.
Slow starts for some of their stars opened a losing record to start the season. Then something clicked, again.
Since June the Phils have been one of the best teams in Major League Baseball. And all of it paid off Tuesday night. The Phillies have clinched their spot in the postseason and the top Wild Card spot, thanks to the Atlanta Braves beating the Chicago Cubs.
It was far from an easy clinch Tuesday night.
In his second-straight clinching start, Aaron Nola pitched a gem. He threw 6.2 innings allowing four hits, one earned run, and eight strikeouts, getting his 200th of the season. Brandon Marsh broke up a no-hitter in the sixth inning with a solo home run. The Phils led 2-1 in the eighth inning until Craig Kimbrel blew it.
Of course, this one needed extra innings to get the win. Jeff Hoffman pitched a great top of the 10th, holding down the fort. And then a man who did not start the season on the major league roster, Johan Rojas, played hero with the walk-off hit.
Rojas was honored pregame as the winner of the Paul Owens Award, which goes to the best player in the Phillies Minor League System.
The party began at Citizens Bank Park as the speakers blared ‘Dancing On My Own’, the players celebrated on the field, and then a champagne shower ensued in the clubhouse.
Rob Thomson said in the clubhouse to the team, “We’re just getting started.”
And so they are. Game 1 of the Wild Card is next Tuesday, October 3rd.