The Phillies were officially eliminated from the division title and virtually eliminated from the wild-card after their loss Saturday to the Braves.
The Braves clinched the National League East Saturday afternoon with their 5-3 win over the Phillies. Obviously, this knocked Philadelphia out of contention for the division and virtually eliminated them from making the playoffs.
Jake Arrieta struggled early, giving up four runs in two innings before being lifted. He threw eight straight balls to start the game and had three four-pitch walks in the first inning. Johan Camargo hit a two-run single in the first and Freddie Freeman hit another in the second to make it a 4-0 game by the second inning.
Mike Foltynewicz no-hit Philadelphia through six innings before Odubel Herrera led off the seventh with a single. They actually showed signs of life in the eighth, scoring three runs before leaving the tying run on second. Atlanta scored one insurance run in the bottom of the inning, and the Phils went down without much fight in the top of the ninth.
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In addition to being 8.5 games back in the division with eight games left to play, Philadelphia is 7.5 games back for the second wild-card spot. According to Fangraphs, there is no chance the Phils make the playoffs this year.
Saturday’s loss capped off a huge collapse over the last two months of the season for Philadelphia. They led the division by a game and a half on Aug. 5 with a 63-48 record. Since then, they are 15-28, falling all the way to where they are now. There was little that went right during this time with the offense, fielding, and pitching staff all faltering at the worst times.
Meanwhile, the Braves surged to take a commanding lead in the NL East.
The Phils had to win this series to stay in the division race; instead, the Braves knocked them out with three straight wins.
The last eight games of the season will certainly be deflating knowing where this team could have been. The players, coaching staff, and front office will need to do a lot of reflection as next season becomes the focus.