Phillies, Gabe Kapler-led Giants eliminate Nationals

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

The Phillies and Giants remain in the postseason hunt, whereas the Nationals have been eliminated

The reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals will not have the chance to defend their title next month. Thanks to the Philadelphia Phillies (28-29) defeating them 12-3, coupled with the Gabe Kapler-led San Francisco Giants (28-27) winning on Wednesday, the Nationals (23-33) were officially eliminated from postseason contention.

The Phillies largely have Zach Eflin and Bryce Harper to thank for their convincing win. The right-hander tossed eight strong innings, allowing only six hits, three runs, and one walk, while striking out nine batters, en route to his fourth win of the season. Eflin tossed first-pitch strikes to 18 of his 30 batters faced, while also inducing six groundballs and eight flyballs.

Harper, meanwhile, went yard twice — for his 12th and 13th home runs and 29th and 30th RBIs — and was also intentionally walked three times. In doing so, he became just the fourth player with multiple home runs and three intentional walks in a game — joining Albert Pujols (2013), David Wright (2007), and Claudell Washington (1980).

Kapler’s Giants, meanwhile, bested the Nolan Arenado-less Colorado Rockies, 7-2, improving their position as the seventh National League postseason seed. The Giants had been trailing 2-1 in the fifth, before their four-run rally that inning that ultimately secured them the victory.

National League Postseason Standings, through September 23

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers (W-1, 39-17, .696) — 4 games left: OAK (1), LAA (3)
  2. Atlanta Braves (E-1, 34-22, .607) — 4 games left: MIA (1), BOS (3)
  3. Chicago Cubs (C-1, 32-24, .571) — 4 games left: PIT (1), CHW (3)
  4. San Diego Padres (W-2, 34-22, .607) — 4 games left: SFG (4)
  5. St. Louis Cardinals (C-2, 27-26, .509) — 5 games left (to play 58): MIL (5)
  6. Miami Marlins (E-2, 28-28, .500) — 4 games left: ATL (1), NYY (3)
  7. San Francisco Giants (WC, 28-27, .509) — 5 games left: COL (1), SDP (4)
  8. Cincinnati Reds (WC, 29-28, .509) — 4 games left: MIN (3)
  9. Philadelphia Phillies (28-29, .491) — 3 games left: TBR (3)
  10. Milwaukee Brewers (27-28, .491) — 5 games left: STL (5)

As NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Corey Seidman notes, the Phillies’ best path to the postseason involves them jumping ahead of the Marlins for the sixth seed.

  • Phillies must finish a game ahead of Marlins (head-to-head tiebreaker)
  • Phillies must finish a game ahead of Reds (most recent 20 divisional games tiebreaker)
  • Phillies can finish ahead of Brewers in a tie (hold tiebreaker)
  • Tiebreaker with Giants TBD

The recent Phillies losses down in the D.C. were disheartening, but their series finale win on Wednesday kept their chances alive to qualify for the postseason for the first time in nine years. And, after missing time early on in the season due to the Miami Marlins COVID-19 outbreak, the Phillies are the only team with less than four games left to play this season; in other words, their postseason standing can either be greatly improved or worsened based on how their rivals fare.

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