Philly Sports Live

Merciful Ending

The Phillies 2014 season mercifully came to an end on Sunday, and not a moment too soon. To call 2014 disappointing would be a giant understatement.

From questionable off-season moves by the front office, to a consistently inconsistent offense, to obscene gestures, Phillie fans will do their best to forget the last 162 games.

The Phillies’ offense finished 24th in major league baseball in hitting with a team batting average of .242. As a team, they scored 618 runs, good for seventh worst in the majors.

Aside from the frustration on offense, the biggest bright spot for the Phillies this season was the bullpen.

The emergence of flame throwing right hander Ken Giles was encouraging for a team that’s seen very few prospects come to fruition of late. Giles, together with Jake Diekman and Jonathan Papelbon combined to create a very effective closing team from the seventh inning on.

Today Diekman struck out two in one inning pitched. That pushed his season total to an even 100, making him just the third Phillies’ reliever ever to punch out 100 in a season.

Jonathan Papelbon finished 2014 with 39 saves, tying him for fifth in the National League. His earned run average was a very good 2.04 as well.

Pap made headlines, however, when he made what he called an “adjustment” as he left the field after a rough outing at Citizens Bank Park. The “adjustment” looked more like an obscene gesture directed towards the fans. He was suspended seven games for the incident.

Papelbon has another year and an option for 2016 remaining on the richest contract ever signed by a closer. Thanks Ruben!

The starting pitching was as consistent as one could hope, frequently falling victim to little or no run support.

That was the case once again this afternoon when Cole Hamels took the mound in the season finale. Hamels literally did all he could, allowing two runs on three hits in eight strong innings. He struck out seven and walked just one.

But, he was rewarded with a loss.

The Phillies managed to out hit the Braves 5-3 today, but could not muster more than one run.

Hamels’ season record finishes at a very deceiving 9-9, with a sparkling ERA of 2.46.  He deserves better.

The Phillies final record for 2014 is 73-89, 23 games out of first place.

General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. faces an off-season of questions about him, his staff and what moves can and must be made.

Given his track record, fans have more reason for concern than confidence.

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