And that will be your season! The Reading Fightin’ Phils lost the fifth and deciding game of the Eastern League Championship Series 7-2 to the Bowie Baysox (BAL). Reading had a fine season where they showed significant improvement over a 2014 team that finished 10 games under .500. Reading finished the 2015 season in first place in the Eastern Division and had the best regular season record in the entire Eastern League (80-61, .567). With the loss, the seasons of all the organization’s affiliates have been completed. Reading had been one of three teams to make the post season. Six of the organizations’s eight teams finished with winning records.
Reading (80-61, .567) was decided to pitch a “bullpen” game in the most important game of their season. Reinier Roibal was tabbed as the starter for the Phils. He faced the Baysox’ Game One starter Joe Gunkel. Gunkel gave way to Game Two starter Nick Additon in the fifth inning. The Phils opted to not use their starters on short rest and relied on bullpen arms through the entire game.
That isn’t meant to imply that Roibal pitched poorly. In fact he pitched into the fifth inning, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out three. He was lifted with one out in the fifth and two runners on base. Edubray Ramos entered and struck out the next two batters and keep the game close at 2-1. Unfortunately, each reliever had a hand in allowing runs over the next three innings.
Ramos gave up a one-out, solo home run in the sixth and had to pitch out of a further jam that inning. Jimmy Cordero started the seventh and gave up two more runs. After a walk and strike out in the eighth, he gave way to Hoby Milner who allowed the inherited runner to score. He was pulled in favor of Ryan O’Sullivan who allowed another inherited runner to score albeit on a fielding error by J.P. Crawford. All together, the five pitchers gave up 10 hits, 7 runs (6 ER), 6 BB, 2 HR, and a balk in 8 IP. They combined to record 8 strike outs.
The Phils’ offense was ineffective again. Against Gunkel they managed a two-out double in the second, and loaded the bases with two out in the third. They got another two-out double in the fourth after Cam Perkins’ solo home run. But when Additon came in they were shut down. He allowed a solo home run by Rene Garcia in the seventh but retired 12 of the 13 Phils he faced in innings five through eight, while the Sox stretched their lead from 2-1 to 7-2.
- Williams, Knapp, Stassi, and Martinez went 0-15 with a walk and 6 K.
- Crawford went 1-4 and hit .379 in the post season.
- Angelo Mora went 2-4 with a double.
- Perkins and Garcia went 2-7 with 2 HR.
- Cozens had the other hit, a double.
- The Phils had 1 BB v. 8 K.
- Nick Pivetta’s oblique injury in the last game of the season really put a strain on the starting rotation in the playoffs.
- Roibal threw 69 pitches, 50 strikes. He really didn’t pitch a bad game for a reliever asked to start.
Reading put together a great season. Hopefully, a lot of these guys will be in Lehigh Valley next year. It would be nice to see a AAA team with a lot of prospects, and not as many AAAA guys as we’ve seen in the past.
Lehigh Valley (63-81, .438) Finished fifth in their division.
Clearwater (79-58, .577) Finished first in their division both halves. Best overall league record. Eliminated in best-of-three divisional series 2-0 by Daytona Tortugas.
Lakewood (73-65, .529) Finished in the second place in their division (2nd half). Third best overall record in their division, fourth best in the league.
Williamsport (46-30, .605) Finished first in their division with the best overall league record. Eliminated in best-of-three divisional series 2-1 by the West Virginia Black Bears.
GCL Phillies (36-24, .600) Finished in second place, four games back.
DSL Phillies (40-32, .556) Finished tied for second place, three games back.
VSL Phillies (30-40, .429) Finished tied for third in a four team league.
Here’s the affiliated scoreboard from MiLB.
Extra Innings –
- No player transactions.