Unraveling Phillies

By: Matthew Mack

The Philadelphia Phillies headed to Cincinnati last night to face the Reds in a make-up game. Spencer Howard took the hill in this game. He did not last long as he went two and a third innings while giving up two runs on four hits. Reds First baseman Nick Castellanos hit a two-run RBI in the third. The Phillies answered back in the next inning with an Alec Bohm RBI double to center, scoring Bryce Harper and added another run from a fielder’s choice. They were not done. In the next inning, Bohm and Torreyes teamed up again to send two more runners home to extend the lead 4-2.

Bailey Falter stepped up after Howards short outing.  He pitched four innings of solid ball, striking out six and only giving up two hits and one run. Phillies manager Joe Girardi called Neftali Perez to  relieve Falter after surrendering one of two hits he gave up, in the bottom of the seventh. Perez walked and hit the Reds batters to load the bases. Castellanos was the next hitter and he got a grand slam home-run. Girardi was slumped over the railing as his bullpen blew yet another save in total exasperation and disbelief. Castellanos wasn’t done. He tacked on another RBI with a total of seven as the game spiraled out of control. Joey Votto tacked on another home run as the Phillies gave the game away 12-4.

The Phillies blew their 21st save . The franchise record is 25 in 2004 and its only the 76th game of the season. Adding to the misery it is the seventh blown save in six games. Joe Girardi lost this game. The analytics don’t mean a thing. Falter was pitching lights out and Girardi relied on his unreliable bullpen.  They did not reward his faith in them. Giving up an eight-run offensive surge in two innings. At this point the Phillies are playing like a bad baseball team and the manager bears the responsibility. The bullpen has fully unraveled and regressed.  Hope for this team is fading very fast. Postseason? Cross it off the list. That ain’t happening. Not with this pitching staff. Now they travel straight to Miami for a three-game series. To be honest, the Phillies starting rotation has a better shot right now to win games but don’t even bet on that.


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