PHILLIES’ PLAYOFF DREAM COULD END TODAY IN ATLANTA!

By Sam Bush

The Phillies battled but it’s hard to argue with the fact that they are playing out the string when it comes to the 2018 playoffs.

The Braves bounced back from Ronald Acuna Jr.’s defensive blunder with a five-run seventh inning that carried them past the Phillies 6-5.

Ozzie Albies sparked the comeback with a two-run homer and Johan Camargo finished it off with a two-out, two-run single, giving the youthful Braves a chance to celebrate as soon as this afternoon with one more victory over the second-place Phillies.

Acuna misjudged Wilson Ramos’ liner to left in the top half of the seventh, turning what should have been an out into a two-run double. Pinch-hitter Jose Bautista tacked on a run-scoring single, giving the Phillies a 4-1 lead.

It didn’t last long.

Tyler Flowers led off the bottom half with a single off Pat Neshek (3-2), and Albies followed with a drive into the right-field seats for his 23rd homer. Dansby Swanson walked and Lucas Duda followed with a pinch-hit single before Neshek finally got an out — on a grounder that bounced off the third-base bag and was backhanded by Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw home to get Swanson trying to score.

That was only a brief respite for the Phillies. Luis Avilan surrendered a run-scoring double by Ender Inciarte into the right-field corner. With two outs and the bases loaded, Camargo came through on a 3-2 pitch by lining a single to left to put the Braves ahead for the first time all night .

After their last NL East title, the Braves went through a massive rebuild that led to three straight 90-loss seasons. With some of baseball’s brightest young stars, including 21-year-old Albies and 20-year-old Acuna, they’re pushing for the playoffs far sooner than most people expected.

Julio Teheran and Freddie Freeman are the only holdovers from Atlanta’s last playoff team.

 

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