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Take the Phillies’ bullpen. Please: Marlins 7, Phillies 6

Let me know if you’ve heard this one before...

Philadelphia Phillies v Miami Marlins
Another group of satisfied customers, courtesy of the Phillies’ bullpen
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

By this point, I don’t even need to write new material for these recaps, because they’re mostly all the same. The Phillies will get out to a lead. And then, some combination of the starter and the bullpen will lose that lead.

Sometimes, the Phillies’ offense will overcome the horrendousness of the bullpen, and other times, it will not. Thursday night was one of those “will not” times, as they blew a three-run lead, and eventually lost the game to the Miami Marlins by a score of 7-6.

It felt like the story of this one was going to be “Jake Arrieta doesn’t have it tonight,” but he actually did okay. He made it into the sixth inning, and only gave up three runs, which is much better than anyone expected after allowing the first three runners he faced to reach base.

Unfortunately, if the starter only goes 5.2 innings, that leaves 3.1 for the bullpen to cover, and that’s simply asking too much of them right now. It’s like trying to ask a first grader to do fix your toilet. The result is going to be messy and not anything close to what you hoped for.

By some miracle, the Phillies made it all the way to the bottom of the eighth with a 6-3 lead. Tommy Hunter was called upon to handle that inning, because, sure why not? The Marlins apparently realized that Hunter had already met his quota for quality outings about a week ago, and loaded the bases.

Joe Girardi brought in Brandon Workman to record a four-out save, as if that was something that anyone in the Phillies’ bullpen was actually capable of doing. On the bright side, Workman didn’t prolong the agony, and gave up a bases-clearing double to the first batter he faced.

Because we hadn’t suffered enough, Workman returned for the bottom of the ninth. To his credit, he managed to record two outs before giving up the game-winning hit to Jorge Alfaro.

By now, you’d think we’d be immune to this, but somehow, it still stings when the bullpen blows yet another winnable game. I figured the Phillies’ bullpen couldn’t keep getting worse, and yet it somehow does. They appear to be caught in some sort of never-ending death spiral, and we will be forced to endure game after game of blown leads.

The only fun we have left at this point is guessing which relievers are going to implode on any given night. Tonight the culprits were Tommy Hunter and Brandon Workman, but tomorrow night, it could be David Phelps and Heath Hembree. Tune in tomorrow to find out!