The Phillies never got it figured out in 2012, losing their final game yesterday in fitting fashion as the Nats topped them 5-1. Lee made a quality start and took the loss. The pen gave up a pair of runs in the eighth inning and Utley, Howard and Rollins combined to go 0-for-4 in the game with Rollins and Howard sidelined with injuries.

They end 2012 having won 21 fewer regular season games than they won in 2011.

Jimmy Rollins seems unfazed, coming up with this gem after the game that suggests the Nats would have finished second had the Phils been healthy: “It’s all come together for them. So that’s great for them. But with us being healthy, you know, they’re still second place. But we weren’t [healthy].”


I’m having a lot of trouble understanding how the Phillies being healthy would have helped the Braves finish ahead of the Nationals.

I’m not even sure that’s what he meant.

Just so we’re all on the same page: The Phillies played baseball for about three hours on 162 different occasions in 2012. That’s a lot of baseball. It showed that they weren’t especially good relative to the teams they were playing against.

They weren’t especially good at scoring runs or preventing them.

They finished 17 games behind the best team in their division.

They paid Halladay, Howard, Utley and Rollins about $66 million to hit a combined 245/324/427 and throw to a 4.49 ERA over 25 starts.

Most fans would agree they have one young impact player in the organization, at least in terms of hitters. He hit .235 for the year and finished the season with numbers very similar to his disappointing 2011 season.

There are some problems here. The expensive core is getting old and looking older than they are. The Phils have close to no chance or replacing them or coming close to replacing them with players currently in the organization. Getting healthy would help, but if you think that’s the only thing the Phillies need, I think you might want to look again.

The Phillies have finished the 2012 season at 81-81, losing 5-1 to the Washington Nationals in yesterday’s final game of the year. The Phils end the year in third place, 17 games out of first and seven games out for the Wild Card. The Nats take the series two games to one.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. Six of the hits went for extra-bases — three doubles, a triple and two home runs.

He set the Nationals down in order in the bottom of the first. Pierre made a fantastic play for the second out on a ball hit by Mark DeRosa, reaching up and over the fence to take away a home run.

Michael Morse doubled to left to start the second, but Lee set the Nats down in order behind him to leave Morse at second.

Jayson Werth tripled to center with two outs in the third. Lee got DeRosa on a fly ball to center to leave Werth stranded.

He started the fourth up 1-0. Ryan Zimmerman led off and hit a 1-2 pitch out to right. 1-1. Morse and Tyler Moore doubled back-to-back. 2-1 with nobody out and Moore at second. Lee got Ian Desmond on a foul out to Ruiz for the first out, then struck out Danny Espinosa and Jesus Flores back-to-back to leave Moore stranded.

Ugly start to the frame as the Nats go home run, double, double with their first three hitters.

Through four innings, Lee had allowed three doubles, a triple and a home run and given up just two runs.

Werth singled with one out in the fifth, but Lee got DeRosa and Zimmerman behind him.

Lee struck Morse out to start the sixth before Moore homered 3-2, extending the Washington lead to 3-1. Desmond followed with a single, but Lee struck Espinosa and Flores out back-to-back behind him at first.

De Fratus threw a 1-2-3 seventh. Switch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi hit for pitcher Christian Garcia and flew to right for the first out. Werth popped to third for the second and DeRosa grounded to second for the third.

Three up, three down for De Fratus. He allows five runs on the year over 10 2/3 innings in 13 appearances. Three of the five runs he allowed came in a single outing. He ends the year with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.12 ratio. Righties hit just 130/231/130 against him in 26 plate appearances.

Papelbon started the eighth. Zimmerman led off and walked. Bryce Harper ran for him at first. Morse was next and Papelbon got ahead of him 0-2 before Morse fouled off five pitches, then hit a 1-2 offering out to right-center for a two-run homer. 5-1. Papelbon struck Moore out swinging for the first out and righty Tyson Brummett came on to face Desmond. Desmond singled to left and moved up to second when Espinosa singled to right. It put men on first and second with one out for Flores. Brummett struck him out swinging for the second out. Lefty Chad Tracy hit for the pitcher Sean Burnett and Brummett struck him out swinging 2-2 to end the frame.

Papelbon faces three hitters and they go walk, homer strikeout. He was fantastic this year, ending with a 2.44 ERA and a 1.06 ratio. He came into yesterday’s appearance with an 0.59 ERA and an 0.88 ratio in 30 2/3 innings over his last 31 appearances.

28-year-old Tyson Brummett faces four batters in his debut, allowing singles to the first two before registering back-to-back strikeouts to leave the runners stranded.

Overall the pen goes two innings in the game, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out three.

Everyone should be well-rested of their next appearance.

The Phillies lineup against righty Edwin Jackson went (1) Pierre (2) Frandsen (3) Utley (4) Ruiz (5) Brown (6) Ruf (7) Schierholtz (8) Martinez. Mayberry on the bench with Schierholtz in center. Pierre plays left with Ruf at first for the sidelined Howard. Martinez starts at short for the sidelined Rollins.

The Phillies went in order in the top of the first.

Ruf walked with two outs in the second and moved to third on a ground-rule double down the left field line by Schierholtz. Martinez grounded to short to leave the runners at second and third.

Frandsen singled with two outs in the third. Utley grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Ruiz started the fourth with a double and moved up to third when Brown grounded out for the first out. Ruf was next and he flew to center, deep enough for Ruiz to tag and score, putting the Phillies up 1-0. Schierholtz singled to center before Martinez flew to left to end the frame.

The Phillies were down 2-1 when they hit in the fifth. Lee and Pierre struck out back-to-back to start the inning before Frandsen doubled to left. Utley was next and hit the ball well, but Moore handled the line drive at first to leave Frandsen stranded.

Jackson set Ruiz, Brown and Ruf down in order in the sixth.

Schierholtz lined a double to right, his second double of the day, to start the seventh. Martinez flew to left for the first out. Nix hit for Lee and struck out swinging for the second. Righty Christian Garcia came in to face Pierre and got Pierre on a fly ball to center to leave Schierholtz stranded.

Lefty Sean Burnett set the Phillies down in order in the eighth.

Lefty Gio Gonzalez pitched the ninth with Washington up 5-1. Brown fouled out to third for the first out. Ruf struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Wigginton hit for Schierholtz and drew a walk. Martinez flew to left and the season was over.

Pierre was 0-for-4 and struck out twice yesterday in his only action of the series. Made a great catch in the first to take a homer away from DeRosa. He finishes the year at 307/351/371.

Frandsen 2-for-4 with a double. 6-for-13 with three doubles in the series. 338/383/451 in 210 plate appearances for the season.

Utley 0-for-4. 0-for-11 with a walk in the series. 256/365/429 for the year. Hit 215/324/355.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double. 1-for-8 with a double and a walk in the series. He was hitting 353/413/596 for the year at the end of the day on July 16. 250/345/390 in 116 plate appearances after July 16. Still ends the year at 325/394/540, which is the best year of his career with the bat by a wide margin.

Brown 0-for-4 in the game and 3-for-12 with a double in the series. He plans to have an MRI on his right knee today — let’s hope it reveals 120 ground outs to second that can be removed with a simple and safe surgical procedure. Ends the year at 235/316/396. 196/288/333 against lefties for the season.

Ruf 0-for-2 with a walk and two strikeouts. 3-for-8 with two walks, a triple, two home runs and five RBI in the three-game set. He also struck out five times. 333/351/727 for the year in 37 plate appearances.

Schierholtz 3-for-3 with two doubles. He finishes at 257/321/407 for the year. 273/319/379 with the Phillies in 73 plate appearances. He came into the game hitting 238/290/317 for the year with the Phillies over 70 plate appearances.

Martinez 0-for-4 and left five men on base. 2-for-11 with a strikeout in the series. 174/208/252 for the year.

No game today.

Stadium Journey recently published a new review of Citizens Bank Park.