Phillies vs Mets: Joe Girardi not worried about job status after disastrous road trip

Phillies vs Mets: Joe Girardi not worried about job status after disastrous road trip

NEW YORK — The Phillies traveled home by bus from Citi Field after Sunday night’s game. Apparently there wasn’t a big enough hearse.

Nick Castellanos’ three-run homer in the eighth inning helped the Phillies overcome another bout of poor defense, but in the end they suffered a 5-4 loss to the New York Mets when they didn’t. couldn’t hold a ninth-inning lead for the second time in six games on a seven-game trip in which they went 2-5 but could easily have been 4-3.

“Good teams don’t do that,” said Bryce Harper, who saw his two-run homer go forward in the ninth go for nothing Tuesday night in Atlanta. “Getting kicked twice in games we should have won. It’s tough. Big homer, big homer and loss. It’s crushing.”

Closer, Corey Knebel missed the chance to save on Sunday night when he allowed a home run to rookie Nick Plummer on the first pitch in the bottom of the ninth. It was Plummer’s first league success. Eduardo Escobar won it for the Mets with a one-out brace at 10th.

“Extremely frustrating,” said embattled manager Joe Girardi.

The NL East-leading Mets swept the three-game series as the Phillies floundered for the 10th time in the last 14 games to sink six games under .500. They are 10½ games back in the division at the annual Memorial Day checkpoint and Girardi’s seat temperature needs to rise because that’s what happens in this game when a high-priced team doesn’t make it.

“I’m not worried about my job,” Girardi said when asked about it after the game. “I never worried about my job. I don’t worry about my job. I have to do my job. That’s the business of being a manager. I don’t care.”

The Phillies have a record payroll of more than $230 million and huge pressure to break a 10-year playoff drought. It’s too early to say they’re dead in the divisional race, but it’s not too early to wonder if they might be, especially with the way the Mets are playing with their two best pitchers, Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, out of action but back. off the injured list in the second half. Either way, it’s a good thing there are three playoff opportunities for the Phillies. But even one of them will be hard to hit if this team doesn’t get their you-know-what together.

The Phillies are 21-27 overall and 3-9 against the Mets.

“That’s a lot,” Harper said of the 10-and-a-half-game deficit. “Everyone knows that. We just have to show up every day ready to play. The season isn’t over until we play 162.”

The Phillies had just three hits and scored just one run until Castellanos’ three-run homer with two outs in the top of the eighth.

This lack of offense makes it imperative to play good defense and the Phillies failed to do so in the first inning behind ace Zack Wheeler. He allowed three runs on first base, but only two were earned after first baseman Rhys Hoskins made an error.

Conservatively, the defense likely cost the Phils half a dozen points on the trip.

“We didn’t make a play (in the first set) and that led to a few points,” said Girardi. “It probably could have been a different game. That’s kind of what happened to us on this trip. We have to clean it up. You can’t give extra strikeouts and we did on the trip.”

Wheeler survived the tough first inning and didn’t give up another run the rest of his six innings. By keeping the game close, the right-hander gave his team a chance and it came to fruition after Mets starter Chris Bassitt (six innings, two hits, one run) left the game.

“There’s a fight in this room,” Girardi said, referring to Castellanos’ last home run, which came down to an 0-2 pitch.

Wheeler was asked if he’s surprised the Phillies already have six games under .500 and 10½ games back in the division.

“It’s surprising, but we have to keep fighting and keep working and hopefully things will get better soon,” the pitcher said. “It has to be soon. I think we all know that. We all know the talent here and what we are capable of. We just have to do it.”

The Phils return home Monday afternoon to face the San Francisco Giants, managed by Gabe Kapler. He will certainly have no sympathy for the struggling Phillies after they fired him for not winning enough games in 2018 and 2019.

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