Phils finish with majors' worst record, but avoid 100 losses and will get No. 1 draft pick
PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Phillies avoided franchise infamy on Sunday with a 7-2 win over the Miami Marlins.
The Phillies finished a major league-worst 63-99 to secure the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft and stayed away from what would have been the franchise's first 100-loss season since 1961 (47-107).
"It's nice to go out with a win, I didn't want to lose 100," Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin said. "I didn't even want to lose 99."
With the Phillies nursing a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh, Aaron Altherr drove in three runs with a bases-clearing triple to break the game open. Altherr started the season at Double-A Reading.
"I was hoping to be able to move up, that was the goal I set for myself," he said. "It's worked out great for me to gain all this experience, and I'm pleased with how I've played."
Philadelphia took the lead in the previous at-bat when Freddy Galvis walked with the bases loaded.
Philadelphia also finished below .500 for the third season in a row, its worst streak since 1994-2000.
Dee Gordon went 3 for 4 with a home run and a double to win the NL batting title over Washington's Bryce Harper.
"It feels kind of surreal," Gordon said with a smile. "I don't think it hit me yet. It was an amazing feeling when I walked up the stairs and my teammates were ready and congratulating me. That felt really good."
Gordon, the son of former major league pitcher Tom Gordon, entered the day trailing Harper .330754 to .330606. The 5-foot-11, 172-pound speedster put the title out of reach early by doubling in the first, homering in the third and singling in the fifth. But he wasn't going to the leave the game early.
"To come out today, knowing that he's in a batting race and make a statement right out of the gate his first three at-bats, that truly speaks to who Dee Gordon is," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "He's diligent, he's loved by his teammates. He told me, he said, 'Skip, I want to play through this, the best man will win, end of story.'
"He went out, took matters into his own hands and handled it right away. I just tip my hat, he's a special, special player. A great kid."
Gordon became the first NL player to lead the league in batting average (.333) and stolen bases (58) in the same season since Jackie Robinson did so in 1949, according to the Marlins citing the Elias Sports Bureau.
"To be put in the same category as Jackie Robinson is pretty humbling," Gordon said. "I'm just thankful for the opportunity."
Harper went 1 for 4 Sunday and finished at .330.
Phillies right-hander David Buchanan took a no-decision but delivered his best start of the season, throwing 6 2-3 innings while allowing two runs (one earned) and striking out a career-high seven.
"I just wanted to go out and keep my team in the game and end the season on a good note," Buchanan said.
After the game, the Phillies announced that they've offered contracts for the 2016 season to four of the six members of their current staff. Larry Bowa (bench), Steve Henderson (hitting), Bob McClure (pitching) and Juan Samuel (first base) have all been asked to return. Meanwhile, John Mizerock (assistant hitting) and Rod Nichols (bullpen) will not have their contracts renewed.
Marlins: SS Adeiny Hechavarria (hamstring) missed the season finale. He left a game on Sept. 2 with tightness and never returned this season. Despite being sidelined for nearly a month, Hechavarria set career highs in batting average (.281), home runs (5) and RBIs (48).
Phillies: 1B Ryan Howard (knee) did not play. He has been out since Sept. 14 after taking a throw off his left knee. Howard had improved but since he hadn't seen live pitching, the Phillies shut him down. Howard, who turns 36 years old in November, hit .229 with 23 homers and 77 RBIs.