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Phils 'playing for each other' to wrap season

Marathon win in 15 innings brings ballclub back to .500
@ToddZolecki
September 28, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- Somebody had to eventually come through early Saturday at Citizens Bank Park. It turned out to be Adam Haseley. Facing a five-man infield, the Phillies’ rookie outfielder hit a ground ball to Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas with the bases loaded and one out in the 15th inning. It

PHILADELPHIA -- Somebody had to eventually come through early Saturday at Citizens Bank Park.

It turned out to be Adam Haseley.

Facing a five-man infield, the Phillies’ rookie outfielder hit a ground ball to Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas with the bases loaded and one out in the 15th inning. It looked like a potential force play at home, but Rojas bobbled the ball, allowing Rhys Hoskins to score.

Yes, the Phillies beat the Marlins, 5-4, on a walk-off error to snap a six-game skid.

Box score

The five-hour, 13-minute game got the Phillies back to .500 (80-80) with two games remaining in their season. They need to sweep the Marlins to finish with their first winning season since 2011. It is something to play for, even though they were eliminated from the postseason on Tuesday in Washington, and even though it will not make up for a disappointing season that will end Sunday with the potential for managerial and coaching changes soon after.

“I thought it was a very professional game by us to stay in it,” Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp said. “We could have just let that one get away from us and gone home, but we’re playing for each other and we’re playing for the city even though the season didn’t go the way we wanted to.”

The Phillies played with a few men down. J.T. Realmuto underwent right knee surgery on Friday. Jean Segura's season is finished because of a sprained right ankle. Jay Bruce's right elbow is bothering him, and the Phillies prefer he hits only in an emergency situation. Scott Kingery left the game in the fifth inning because of blurry vision. Kingery does not wear contact lenses, but he had trouble picking up the fastball in the third and could not explain why it crept up on Friday. He plans to get his vision examined.

Then right-hander Vince Velasquez allowed four runs in just four innings in his final start of the season. Velasquez, who hopes to be in the Phillies’ rotation in 2020, finished '19 with a 4.91 ERA in 33 appearances (23 starts).

“It’s not the outing you want to end on,” Velasquez said. “But all in all, I think there have been a lot of improvements.”

Cole Irvin, Nick Vincent, Héctor Neris, Jared Hughes, Blake Parker, Juan Nicasio and Ranger Suárez combined for 11 scoreless innings, striking out 10 and walking none.

The Phillies had runners on first and second with no outs in the 13th inning, but Knapp could not advance the runners, instead bunting into a forceout at third base. He found himself in the same exact situation in the 15th.

This time, Knapp bunted the runners over.

“I feel like I let Pac-12 [Conference] down,” said Knapp, who played baseball at the University of California. “I feel like I should get a bunt down every time. I practiced it enough in college. I hit third and I was still bunting quite a bit.”

The Marlins intentionally walked Maikel Franco to load the bases. Haseley then put the bat on the ball, and something good happened.

The Phillies can clinch at least a .500 record with a victory Saturday night.

Asked if it is important for him and the team, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said: “I don’t think I need to say it. I think the players demonstrated that tonight.”

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .