Another dismal Phillies season ends in a whimper, postseason drought at nine years


The Phillies' postseason hopes are dead.

Their season is over.

Everything came to a disappointing end in a 5-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in the regular-season finale Sunday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The Phillies were swept in the three-game series and lost seven of their final eight games to fall off the National League postseason grid. 

The Phillies, who just a week earlier were in control of the seventh NL playoff seed, needed a win Sunday and losses from San Francisco and Milwaukee to claim the eighth and final spot in the playoffs.

From a Phillies perspective, it didn't matter what happened to the Giants or Brewers (who both lost). The Phillies were never in Sunday's game. Starter Aaron Nola did not pitch well and Tampa Bay rookie lefty Josh Fleming held the Phillies' bats to just four hits, all singles, and a walk over six innings. He struck out five.

The Phillies went 13-17 in the month of September. They have not made the postseason since 2011. Only the Seattle Mariners (2001) have a longer drought.

This was the Phillies' third straight September collapse. They went 8-20 in September 2018 and 12-16 in September 2019, falling out of postseason contention both years.

The Phils finished this pandemic-shortened, 60-game season with a 28-32 record.

They have not had a winning season since 2011 and face a winter of uncertainty with a bullpen — one of the worst in big-league history — to reconstruct and catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Didi Gregorius hitting free agency. 


There also could be uncertainty in the front office. General manager Matt Klentak has presided over five non-winning seasons. He warmed his own seat last offseason by saying, "No questions, it's time to win now."

That did not happen.

Will Klentak be the guy who pilots the team through an important offseason?

That's a question ownership has to be mulling as it moves into a ninth straight October of no postseason baseball.