Futility, thy name is Phillies.
While some teams continue their fight to reach the postseason and others fight for home field advantage, the Phillies were fighting for another so called "honor." The Phillies now have 99 losses on the season, which guarantees them the first overall pick in the draft, by virtue of having the worst record in baseball. Technically, the honor came when the Cincinnati Reds beat Pittsburgh 3-1, guaranteeing that the Reds would lose no more than 98 games this season. The Reds and Pirates game was completed after the Phillies lost the first end of a double-header with the Marlins by a 7-6 score. The loss was the 98th of the season for the Phillies, but they held the tie-breaker for the first pick over Cincinnati thanks to having a worse record than the Reds last season, as well. Just to be sure there was no confusion, the Phillies lost the nightcap 5-2. Whether or not the Phillies will reach the 100-loss mark comes down to the final day of the regular season and another match up with the Miami Marlins (71-90).
A surge of wins by the Phillies after the All-Star Break, combined with a stretch of futility by the Reds nearly led the Phillies to lose their grasp on the first overall pick, which they had held onto for most of the season. The Reds snapped a seven-game losing skid with their win over the Pirates on Saturday. The 7-6 loss to the Marlins was the seventh straight Phillies loss that they suffered by just one run. They snapped that streak in the second game against Miami. The Reds have clinched the second overall pick in next June's draft. Atlanta would clinch the third pick with a loss in either game of their double-header against St. Louis on Sunday.
The 2016 Draft is considered to be strong on pitching, especially at the college level. Incoming team president Andy MacPhail has a belief that "you develop pitchers and buy hitters," meaning that using the top overall pick on a pitcher is a very likely possibility, even though the real need for the Phillies is offense.