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Phillies Have Bamboo, Miller to Thank for Saving Season

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

The outlook on the Philadelphia Phillies season has completely 180'd, all thanks to bamboo.

During their seven-game losing streak, the Phillies tried everything and anything to reverse their fortunes, including drastic lineup changes that saw Bryce Harper move up to the No. 1 spot in the lineup.

The Phillies scored just 15 runs over the stretch, while allowing nearly three times as many runs, 43. Things just were not clicking, and some considered second-year manager Gabe Kapler's job to be in jeopardy. Tensions were high, and even Kapler, himself, uncharacteristically felt it, when he was ejected for the first time in his managerial career during the Phillies' 5-3 loss to the National League-worst Miami Marlins.

Then came the recently acquired Brad Miller and a bamboo plant. The rest was history.

Miller originally brought in a bamboo plant from Chinatown to his locker and said he would buy one for every player, but then decided to bring in a large plant to place in the middle of the clubhouse, symbolizing unity.

The effort simply was to change things up, and it worked. The Phillies have won three straight games against the New York Mets, all erasing multiple run deficits. Last night, the team won its first game of the season via a walk-off. In total, the Phillies are outscoring the Mets 25-16 in the series ahead of Thursday's matinee finale with ace Aaron Nola on the mound.

While the team still trails the Atlanta Braves in the division by multiple games, it could have been way worse without Miller, bamboo, and simply a new outlook on the season overall among the team. The Phillies are still in the thick of the Wild Card race, too.

It's a 162-game schedule, and there's still plenty of time to make up for lost ground. Bamboo on.

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