What else remains to be said?: Giants 5, Phillies 4


What else remains to be said?: Giants 5, Phillies 4

It was almost poetic how it happened.

The Giants met Corey Knebel in the ninth inning, the game tied by two. Nick Castellanos and Rhys Hoskins had hit a homer that day, Kyle Gibson hit a single bad pitch, a two-run homer against Wilmer Flores, but that game would come down to the final innings. Though he got the first two outs fairly easily, anyone watching the game could sense the underlying paranoia of that outing. It wasn’t about that if Gag would screw it up, that was the point if.

Evan Longoria stepped forward and we knew it was coming.

It’s just sort of expected at this point. The bullpen hasn’t been good for two years under Joe Girardi, so what makes us think it’s about to kick off?

Of course, as we know only the Phillies could do that, Kyle Schwarber stepped up and put down the second pitch of the inning from starter Logan Webb, who Gabe Kapler had inexplicably left behind to start the ninth, over the midfield wall, where he himself Stuart Fairchild barely eluded the midfielder’s access.

Those kinds of moments of ecstasy as Phillies fans were rare, and once again that would prove true. The top of the 10th started with a runner at second base, as the new rules dictate, and Andrew Bellatti stood on the mound.

Throwback to Saturday night.

The Mets were already leading the Phillies 8-2 in the eighth inning when Joe Girardi went to the mound, ready to switch pitchers in the suddenly meaningless game, only to…

…Seranthony Dominguez?

Dominguez would get the only batter he faced, but his usage clock has now started. Day one: in the books.

Sunday night, eighth inning. The Phillies had taken the lead from the Mets on an impressive home run by Nick Castellanos. Girardi desperately needed the win and again challenged Dominguez to defend the lead, which is perfectly acceptable as he is arguably the team’s best shooter. Dominguez held the line, although the team would lose the game thanks to another disturbing performance from Knebel.

However – day two of Dominguez: in the books. And we all know what that means.

Flashing forward to today and with the game tied and gags burned, the Phillies needed one of their better arms on the mound for the tenth inning, especially since the inning started with a runner in scoring position. This is how bullpen works normally when the manager brings in one of his better shooters, since it’s already a highly leveraged situation that the zombie runner makes a lot higher.

But in this situation, Girardi was not compelled to use Bellatti by anyone’s utter incompetence but his own. No matter how good he was, this is not the place for Andrew Bellatti. But thanks to Girardi, that was the situation the team found itself in.

We all know what would happen.

Well, to be fair, Joe Girardi didn’t throw the pitch. He didn’t hang up the slider, which was crushed with the left fielder barely moving a muscle. But Joe Girardi’s job is to put the Philadelphia Phillies in the best possible position to win baseball games, and he hasn’t done so with surprising consistency in his decisions about how to use the bullpens.

You may find the word “incompetence” harsh, but when the same type of bullpen decisions are made night after night, decisions that are difficult to pin down in their logic, it’s the only word that can be used to describe what it is that Girardi is doing. No manager actively seeks to harm his team. If that were true, he would no longer be employed. But with the decisions made, it’s so hard to say they’re helping the team.

It’s hard to put into words how depressing it is to follow and analyze this team right now. The problems they are having are obvious, but nothing is being done to correct them. No team with that much talent is really upset yet, but the manager is actively hurting this team. He costs them profits. Usually, in this case, the team will remove what harms the team out the team, but from above we can’t see anything by twiddling our thumbs and shrugging our shoulders.

Until there is a change to this team, be it a layoff, a swap, a release, this cycle of incompetence and amazing moves will continue. And those responsible have no one to point the finger at but themselves.

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