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Kapler insists on playoffs despite early struggles

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Philadelphia Phillies have a first-year manager with no previous experience in Gabe Kapler. Yet, the former MLB outfielder has high expectations for his team.

Kapler is three games into his first campaign with the team. But following the Atlanta Braves 15-2 win at SunTrust Park in Atlanta, Ga., Kapler said that he still is confident in his team and their goals for this season.

Gabe Kapler is seen here as the Philadelphia Phillies manager (Getty Images)

Gabe Kapler is seen here as the Philadelphia Phillies manager (Getty Images)

Kapler believes that the Phillies, who had the third-worst record in MLB last season, could make the playoffs this season despite having a very young team overall. Philadelphia has not made the playoffs since the 2011 season when they lost in the National League Divisional Series to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Dave Roberts was the last first-year manager to make the playoffs in his first-year with his new team. The Dodgers advanced to the National League Championship Series in 2016 after having a 91-71 record in the regular season.

Roberts inherited a Dodgers team that went to the playoffs in 2015 under former manager Don Mattingly, who went to the National League Divisional Series.

The 15-2 loss was their worst loss of the young season. The Phillies have given up 23 runs in their two losses this season, including a three-run, game-winning home run by Nick Markakis in the season opener on Thursday night.

Kapler also has had many head-scratching managerial decisions thus far through three games. The worst, though, was in the third inning on Saturday night when he wanted to remove starting pitcher Vincent Velasquez.

He had allowed seven runs through 2 2/3 innings. Yet, he made the call to the bullpen without even allowing relief pitcher Hoby Milner to warm up.

According to The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, it took one minute and 20 seconds from when Kapler signaled for the pitcher from the pen to when Milner arrived on the mound.

Kapler attempted to stall to give Milner enough time to warm up seeing that he made a huge mistake. The umpires were not having it — and this situation caused Braves manager Brian Snitker to be ejected (his second-time in three games).

If the Phillies truly want to make the playoffs, Kapler needs to stop showing his inexperience to manage a game. Sadly, for Philadelphia, this season may have already been lost regardless of whatever Kapler says.

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