It was almost poetic in the way it happened.
The Giants faced Corey Knebel in the top of the ninth inning, with the game tied at two. Nick Castellanos and Rhys Hoskins had homered that day, Kyle Gibson had just one bad pitch, a two-run homer to Wilmer Flores, but this game was going to come down to the final innings. Even though he got the first two outs quite easily, anyone watching the game could feel the current of paranoia around that outing. It wasn’t about if Knebel would blow it, it was a matter of when.
Evan Longoria stepped up and, well, we knew it was coming.
It’s just kind of planned at this point. The bullpen hasn’t been good in two years under Joe Girardi, so what would make us think it would start all of a sudden now?
Of course, as we know only the Phillies could, Kyle Schwarber stepped up and laid down starter Logan Webb’s second pitch of the inning, which Gabe Kapler inexplicably left to start the ninth, over the center field wall, barely escaping the grip of the central defender. Stuart Fairchild.
Those types of moments of ecstasy as Phillies fans have been rare, and that would once again prove true. The top of 10 started with a runner on second base, as dictated by the new rules, 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 headed for the mound, ready to switch pitchers in the suddenly meaningless play, only to bring in…
Dominguez would get the only hitter he would face, but his use clock was now running. First day: in the books.
Sunday night, round eight. The Phillies had taken the advantage over the Mets on a superb home run from Nick Castellanos. Badly in need of the win, Girardi again called in Dominguez to protect the lead, which is perfectly acceptable since he is arguably the best pitcher on the team. Dominguez held the fort, even though the team would go on to lose the game thanks to another troubling outing from Knebel.
However – Dominguez’s second day: in the books. And we all know what that means.
Flash forward today and with the game tied and Knebel burned, the Phillies needed one of their best arms on the mound for the tenth inning, especially since the inning started with a runner in scoring position. This is how the bullpen works, where the manager puts one of his best pitchers in the game, as this is already a high leverage situation made even higher due to the runner zombie.
Yet in this situation, by the utter incompetence of no one but his own, Girardi was forced to use Bellatti. No matter how good he’s been, this isn’t the place for Andrew Bellatti. But thanks to Girardi, that’s the situation the team found themselves in.
We all know what was going to happen.
Now, to be fair, Joe Girardi didn’t throw the pitch. He didn’t hook 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 with his decisions about how to use relievers, he hasn’t done it with a consistency record. surprising.
You may find the word “incompetence” harsh, but when the same kinds of decisions are made night after night after night, decisions that are hard to pin down in their logic, that’s the only word that can be used to describe what it’s like. is. what does Girardi do. No manager actively tries to harm his team. If that were true, he would no longer be employed. However, these decisions that are made, it is so difficult to say that they help the team.
It’s hard to say how depressing it is right now to watch and analyze this team. The problems they have are clear as day, but nothing is being done to correct them. No team with that much talent has really come out of it yet, but the manager is actively hurting that team. It costs them victories. Usually when this happens the team removes what is harming the team of the team, yet you can’t see anything from above by twiddling your thumbs and shrugging your shoulders.
Until there is a change in this team, be it a firing, a trade, a release, this cycle of incompetence and confusing moves will continue. And those responsible will have no one to point fingers at but themselves.