Houston, Texas -The Philadelphia Phillies fired manager Joe Girardi following an unbeaten 22-29 start into the year, it’s difficult to believe the trio of Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber and the interim manager Rob Thomson would be dancing in a champagne shower in October.
However, this team battled through the difficult beginning and an injury that put Harper off for two months, and did exactly that beat Houston Astros Houston Astros 3-0 Monday night to earn the team’s first playoff spot in the last 11 years.
“This is our goal Harper said. Harper stated. “This is the goal you set for yourself.”
Aaron Nola took an impeccable game into the seventh inning. Schwarber hit a homer to lead the Phillies to victory on Monday.
“It was not an easy season”, the Schwarber declared. “We had changes to our manager, through the MVP’s decline … And we had people telling us that we’ve lost our season which isn’t even counting the Phillies and that they’re not catching the ball… as well it’s our goal to get all our players back in good health and to participate, that’s the main thing.”
Following Brandon Marsh caught Mauricio Dubon‘s fly ball in the middle to make it the final out, the players leapt and cheered with joy before reuniting on the mound, where they played a game of hugs and bounced around more.
The video screen located at Minute Maid Park displayed the team’s logo as well as said: “Congratulations Philadelphia” as the Phillies were celebrated.
A small, but vocal group of Philadelphia fans gathered near the dugout of the team and shouted: “Let’s go Phillies,” at the the ninth innings.
The clubhouse was a triumphant venue, Thomson gave his team brief speech, before the champagne exploded.
“We’re not finished,” he told his team. “After the game on Wednesday, we’ve won 13 more wins which means we’re the world champions. … Congrats, take advantage of this and You’ve earned this.”
The players and coaches performed and sang while champagne from bottles with labels that emphasized their the long-awaited, tough-fought ticket to the playoffs washed down their red T-shirts that they wore to the playoffs.
“When I came here in the year ’19 I told you it would take us two or three years, maybe three or five years, in order to get the level we wanted to be,” said Harper who was an MVP twice. “And the reality is that we’re far from where we want to be but this is a the first step to hopefully more chances of success and to get us to where we want to be.”
Harper acknowledged Thomson as the main reason behind the team’s turnaround. Thomson acknowledged he was grateful for the acknowledgement, but would not take credit for the accomplishment.
“At the beginning of the year , we didn’t play well and were not playing to our potential”, he explained. “But I always felt that we’d reach our goals which we have done. So. I just happened to be in just at the right time.”
The Phillies secured their victory in the same ballpark that they won their final postseason game on Sept. 14 in 2011. The game ended in a 1-0 win against the Astros and was highlighted by a full game-ending shutout by Hall of Hall of Famer Roy Halladay.
The postseason drought in Philadelphia was the longest running one in the majors , following that the Seattle Mariners clinched their first playoff spot in 21 years on Friday night.
With the Phillies have secured their spot the playoff spot, all 12 spots have been set, with the specific matchups to be decided over the coming days.
The Phillies began the opening game of their final season game of the season needing to win or be defeated to the Milwaukee Brewers to secure an National League wild card spot. The Brewers were able to hold off Arizona Diamondbacks Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5 in just 10 innings, and it took only a few minutes before Philadelphia won the game.
Nola struck out nine times and did not allow a baserunner up to Yordan Alvarez struck out with two outs in seventh. David Hensley followed with a single . Nola got replaced with Jose Alvarado, who hit Kyle Tucker to end the innings.
Zach Eflin pitched an unbeaten ninth innings to complete the shutout , and also get the first win in the 11 years of professional ball.
Schwarber kicked off the season for the Phillies during their first trip to Houston since September. 16 2012, with an opening home run from the bat of Lance McCuller..
Philadelphia provided some extra security as Bryson Stott and Schwarber hit back-toback single shots against Jose Urquidy to begin the eighth innings.
It’s the eighth time that a multi-homer game has been played during the current season by Schwarber who is the leader in this season in NL with a record-setting 46 home runs. That provides him with 199 homers over his career.
The Phillies have three players who will play on the field for the first time since having played more than 600 games. Jean Segura leads the group with 1,327 points, J.T. Realmuto has 1,004 and Rhys Hoskins is at 666.
Segura who is currently playing his 11th season in the major leagues started to think about whether the day would ever happen.
“I felt a bit of stress on myself because I’m likely never to make it to the playoffs,” he added.
After he’s done it, he’s more content.
“It took a very long journey”, he admitted. “I’ve been waiting for so for this moment for so long and I’m sure that I won’t let it pass in the blink of an eye.”