The Phillies were never expected to contend in 2018. Of course, neither were the Atlanta Braves.  After hitting a peak with 15 games above the .500 mark and holding first place down for over a month, the Phillies were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday afternoon as the Braves defeated the Phillies 5-3.

The Phillies and Braves entered play on Saturday with the Braves needing just one Braves win and one Phillies loss to clinch a playoff spot.  The Phillies sent free agent acquisition Jake Arrieta to the mound, opposed by Mike Foltynewicz.  Foltynewicz would no-hit the Phillies for six innings, while Arrieta allowed four earned runs for his shortest start of the year: two innings.

The Braves held that 4-0 lead until the seventh inning, when the Phillies got their first hit.  Foltynewicz would get just one out in the eighth before giving way to the bullpen. The Braves needed four pitchers to get out of that inning, as the Phillies got three runs and moved within 4-3.

But in the bottom of the eighth, Adam Morgan entered for the Phillies and allowed a hit in the only batter he faced.  Seranthony Dominguez would allow another hit and two walks, allowing Morgan's runner to score to make it 5-3 Braves.

Then in the ninth, Arodys Vizcaino would get the Phillies 1-2-3 to preserve a Braves victory and win the National League East title.  That title would be the first for the Braves since the 2013 season.

The Phillies face the Braves one more time on Sunday in Atlanta, before closing out the season with four in Denver against the Rockies and then one final weekend series at home against the Braves.

The Phillies need three more wins to finish at the .500 mark, or four wins to closer rookie manager Gabe Kapler's first season with a winning record.

More From 97.3 ESPN