Miami Marlins outlast Philadelphia Phillies to win season finale

Miami, Florida – The Miami Marlins finished the season on a positive note defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 Sunday afternoon at loanDepot park. Miguel Rojas took over the managing reins for coach Don Mattingly as Pablo López made a brief but impactful start after more than two months on the mend. Miami used a mix of small ball and the long ball with the bullpen holding the line allowing for Dylan Floro to collect his 15th (and final) save of the year.

Lopez pitched nearly two innings allowing an earned run striking out four batters. He was pulled according to plan handing the ball over to the relief corps. Seven more pitchers were sent out in a winning effort. Miami ends the 2021 campaign with a 67-95 record for fourth place in the NL East. They also end the season with a winning record at home going 42-39.

Lopez pitched his way out of trouble in the first, punching out Andrew McCutchen and Didi Gregorius to get out of the bases-loaded jam. Miami then scored a pair of runs on their first trip to the dish. Brian Miller hit a soft roller to Freddy Galvis, however, the second baseman had no play. Eddy Alvarez hit an RBI triple to right followed by an RBI single from Jazz Chisholm Jr.

Galvis and the Phillies responded with a solo HR in the second frame. Pache recovered striking out Andrew Knapp and Bailey Falter to end his quick outing to a loud standing ovation. The two teams traded two-run homers in the third and fourth inning. McCutchen took Steven Okert deep to left field to tie it while Nick Fortes responded in kind regaining the 5-3 lead.

Philly did not go away scoring in the eighth to make things interesting although Miami would hang on for the victory.

Game 162

So here we are. The 2021 season is over. For the Marlins anyways. Sure, it was an incredibly disappointing one filled with injuries, blown saves, an awful offense, and a lot of inconsistent baseball but that’s for a future post. After what transpired in 2020 I was pretty grateful to be able to cover the team in person. There are folks that absolutely hate the stadium who will always see it as a dumpster fire. For me, however, the place is a sort of sanctuary. Somewhere a fan of the game can come over, kick back, and enjoy the awesome performances by rookies and veterans alike. From the journeymen to the future Hall of Famers.

It’s a sort of zen feeling where everything (for a few hours) is right in the world. Today I felt a mix of sadness and excitement. Miami’s last game of the year was irrelevant, meaningless. A formality. An endpoint to a near 100 loss campaign. However, on the last day of the season, there was a ton of excitement around MLB. In the American League, four teams were vying for the last two wildcard spots with the chance of a four-way tie. On top of that, we had the Giants and Dodgers fighting for the NL West crown. All this on the last day? Are you kidding me? It’s tough not to be romantic about baseball. Certainly a bittersweet moment for myself and others. There were plenty of lows but a few highs too.

So as we bid goodbye to the 2021 season here’s to an awesome offseason and an exciting 2022!

Game Notes

Pablo López: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 42 pitches 29 for strikes

Eddy Alvarez: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 Triple, 1 RBI

Nick Fortes: 1-for-2, 2 R, 2 RBIs, 1 HR

Phillies scored four runs on eight hits with no errors

Marlins scored five runs on seven hits committing zero errors

Attendance: 9,149

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