Phillies

If you still care, Phillies are this close to their first winning season since 2011

If you still care, Phillies are this close to their first winning season since 2011

BOX SCORE

Bryce Harper continued to swing a hot bat and Zach Eflin tossed a gem as the Phillies rolled over the Miami Marlins, 9-3, in Game 161 of the season Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies have beaten the lowly Marlins two nights in a row to put themselves over the .500 mark with one game remaining in the season. The Phils are 81-80. A win in Sunday’s season finale would give them their first winning season since the days of Jimmy, Chase, Ryan, Doc, Cole and Big Chuck back in 2011. A loss would give the Phillies their eighth straight non-winning season.

Eflin shines

After seven relievers picked up 11 innings on Friday night — and with a bullpen game on tap Sunday — the Phillies needed Eflin to go deep into the game. He did just that. He scattered six hits over 7 2/3 innings and allowed just three runs, two of which came on a homer by the last batter he faced, Neil Walker, in the eighth. The homer came on Eflin’s 108th pitch.

The Marlins are one of the worst offensive teams in baseball, ranking last in the majors in OPS (.673) and last in the NL in runs per game (3.80). Eflin capitalized by going right at the Marlins hitters. He threw 74 strikes (12 resulted in swing and misses) and allowed just three hard-hit balls. He continued to use his sinker the majority of the time, but also featured his slider, changeup, curveball and four-seamer.

Eflin’s season took a positive turn over the final five weeks as he began throwing his sinker more. He recorded a 2.83 ERA in 41 1/3 innings over his last seven starts.

The Phillies expect Eflin to hold down a rotation spot next season.

Harper’s hot bat

Harper has shown no let up as the season has moved toward the end. He doubled, tripled and drove in two runs in Friday night’s win. He smacked a three-run homer in this one. It was his 72nd extra-base hit of the season and his 35th homer. He has a career-high 114 RBIs.

Harper’s 35 homers are the most by a Phillie since 2009, when Ryan Howard had 45 and Jayson Werth 36.

Fifteen of Harper’s homers this season have come against left-handed pitching. The only lefty hitter with more homers against lefty pitching is Cody Bellinger with 18.

Also contributing …

Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco both homered for the Phillies and rookie catcher Deivy Grullon had an RBI double for his first big-league hit.

Hernandez and Franco could both be playing their final games with the Phillies on Sunday.

Power month

The Phils have hit 44 home runs in September. That ties the team mark for most in a month. The Phils hit 44 homers in June 2004.

Examination for Kingery

Scott Kingery’s offseason will begin with an eye exam on Monday. He’s been experiencing vision problems.

Up next

The Phillies and Marlins pull the curtain down on the 2019 season at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The Phillies will use a cast of relievers to get through the game. The Marlins will start right-hander Sandy Alcantara (5-14, 3.95).

The Phillies added right-hander Enyel De Los Santos to the active roster for the final two games.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies

Phillies trade for intriguing lefty pitcher, add four arms to 40-man roster

Phillies trade for intriguing lefty pitcher, add four arms to 40-man roster

The Phillies added four pitchers to their 40-man roster on Wednesday night, including Cristopher Sanchez, who was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Sanchez, 23, is a 6-5 left-hander from the Dominican Republic who pitched mostly at the Single A level in 2019. The Rays were out of room on their 40-man roster and believed Sanchez would be lost in next month's Rule 5 draft so they peddled him to the Phillies for infielder Curtis Mead, a 19-year-old from Australia who played in the Gulf Coast League last summer.

Sanchez will come to big-league spring training camp in February, but he needs more development time in the minors as he has pitched just 1 1/3 inning above the Single A level. Sanchez' fastball can reach 97 mph. The Phils might have something if the lanky lefty can put it together.

The Phillies also added JoJo Romero, Garrett Cleavinger and Mauricio Llovera to the roster. Romero and Cleavinger are both lefties and Llovera is a power-armed right-hander. All three could figure in the big club’s bullpen picture at some point in 2020.

Romero, 23, was the Phillies’ fourth-round draft pick in 2016. He struggled as a starter at Double A and Triple A in 2019, but pitched well out of the bullpen in Arizona Fall League, giving up just one earned run in 10 2/3 innings.

Cleavinger, 25, was a third-round pick by the Orioles in 2015. The Phillies acquired him for Jeremy Hellickson in the summer of 2017. Cleavinger has strikeout stuff — he punched out 83 batters and allowed just 32 hits in 51 2/3 innings at Double A Reading in 2019 — but control is an issue as he walked 34.

Llovera, who turns 24 in April, has long impressed club officials with his power arm. He struck out 72 in 65 1/3 innings at Reading in 2019.

Players added to the 40-man roster by Wednesday’s deadline cannot be selected in the Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings next month. The Phillies’ roster stands at 39.

The Phillies left a couple of notable young players unprotected. Catcher Rafael Marchan and power-hitting outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz will both be eligible for the Rule 5 draft. If selected by another club, they must spend the entire season in the majors. Both Marchan and Ortiz will play at 21 next season. Neither has played above the Florida State League and both are in need of more development time so the Phillies stand a good shot of hanging on to both.

Ortiz made headlines in the summer of 2015 when the Phillies signed him out of the Domincan Republic for $4 million. He has big power — 19 homers at Single A Clearwater in 2019 — but contact is an issue. He has racked up 297 strikeouts in 835 at-bats while hitting just .212 the last two seasons at the Single A level.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies

These ugly Cowboys-looking Phillies hats have Philly fans freaking out

These ugly Cowboys-looking Phillies hats have Philly fans freaking out

Remember back on Phillies opening day 2019 when the team used a logo extremely similar to the Dallas Cowboys' star on the jumbotron and everybody freaked out?

Well, it seems we have a reprise of that situation today but in hat form.

We bring these questionable caps to you today via a reddit post aptly titled, "On no.... please god no..." which shows images of a new Philadelphia Phillies hat made by New Era that is currently being sold.

Philly fans absolutely hate it. Not only does it cloesly resemble the Dallas star, it's also just kind of ugly.

the front:

The hat is part of the New Era Elements Collection where they take something smaller from the team's actual logo and make it the main thing on a hat. The Cincinnati Reds used a mustache which is awesome. The Baltimore Orioles' smily bird looks pretty cool.

And then there's this very bad Phillies hat.

It's pretty obvious they are highlighting the star from the middle of the 'P' which is blown up on the front of the cap and featured relatively normal size on the back of the fitted cap, but it's still way too similar to the Dallas Cowboys' star for most in Philadelphia's liking.

The back:

It's unclear if these hats will ever get anywhere near the actual baseball team. Let's hope not.

Subscribe and rate At The Yard:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19

More on the Phillies