The Phillies Will Finish In Last Place For the First Time Since 2000

For the first time since 2000, the Phillies will finish in last in the National League East. They have finished last in almost a quarter of their 132 seasons.

By virtue of a last night’s 6-4 loss to the Miami Marlins, the Phillies sewed up last place in the National League East. It’s the first time the Phillies have finished in last place since 2000, Terry Francona’s last season as manager. That team lost 97 games and its best pitcher was Robert Person (Fan club: The Person People). So, things could be worse!

If you’d forgotten: Yes, these very same Phillies had the best record in baseball in 2010 and 2011. Not so very long ago!

If you want to feel better about the Phillies’ recent struggles, think how unprecedented this period of success was: The 13 consecutive seasons without a last-place finish is actually the third-longest stretch in team history! The Phillies avoided last place between 1974 and 1987 and between 1905 and 1918 — both 14-season stretches — and also avoided last place from their second season in 1884 to 1903 — an impressive 20-season mark.

Other than those stretches, Phillies’ history is pretty much entirely last place finishes. This season will be the 32nd last-place finish by the Phillies in 132 years of play. The Phillies have finished in dead last in 25 percent of seasons they’ve played.

Though the Phillies’ season is essentially over, there are plenty of reasons to go to one of the final three games this weekend at Citizens Bank Park. I’ve compiled some in a list.

  • You already have tickets and you can’t find someone else to take them.
  • Jonathan Papelbon might pitch again, which means you can grab your crotch at him like Tina Fey suggested.
  • If the Phillies win one of these games, they avoid a 90-loss season.
  • Sunday is Fan Appreciation Day! One time I was at that game and the Phillies gave out $250 gift certificates for paint.
  • Who knows who won’t be with the team next year? Could this be Jimmy Rollins’ last homestand as a Phillie? Are these Ryan Howard’s final games? Probably not, but who knows!
  • Maybe the Phillie Phanatic’s head will fall off or something, I dunno.

The Phillies play the Braves in their final three games.