What is more frustrating - an offense that can’t get a big hit, a starter that can’t go long in a game or a bullpen that can’t perform a shutdown inning?
Luckily for you, if you watched the Phillies this evening, you experienced all three!
Trying to brush off the disappointment of Tuesday night’s loss, the Phillies sent Ranger Suarez to the mound opposite Charlie Morton in the hopes of trying to gain some momentum. In the first inning, they sure tried. Alec Bohm had a one out single, then went to third on a Bryce Harper single, but the signature Harper aggressiveness got the best of him when he tried to stretch it just a bit and was thrown out at second base for the second out of the inning. Nick Castellanos walked next, which would have loaded the bases. Instead, Jean Segura flied out to center and a huge threat was lost.
In the second inning, Odubel Herrera got the Phillies on the board when he hit a long home run into the Chop House beyond the right field wall, giving the Phillies the lead.
On the board!#RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/IIEqKmXBvW— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) May 25, 2022
Unfortunately, the pitching staff’s inability to put up a shutdown inning was on display yet again when Suarez served up a home run to Matt Olson, a walk to Adam Duvall and a double to Orlando Arcia. Suarez was almost out of the inning when he got Travis Demerritte to ground out, but the next batter, Ozzie Albies, singled in two runs, then went to second when Castellanos’s throw sailed over the cutoff man. Dansby Swanson singled in Albies to make it 4-1 and started to avalanche.
So now you’ve got two of the three frustrating things happening already and it isn’t even the third inning!
Philadelphia would get one back in the fourth when Herrera singled in another run, making it 4-2. It would stay that way into the fifth when Bohm singled to lead off the inning, went to third on a Harper double, then scored on a Castellanos ground out. Harper would score himself when Segura singled into right field, tying the game at four and making it a whole new ballgame.
Suarez would seal the deal of frustration in the bottom of the fifth when he pitched to two batters in the inning, letting one on base and seeing his night end after 4 1⁄3 innings and 88 pitches. Jose Alvarado relieved him, but unfortunately for the Phillies, he had to battle a bout of wildness as he struggled with his control the entire inning. Suarez had allowed that leadoff single to Swanson before he struck out Marcell Ozuna. After Alvarado came in, the first batter saw a ball in the dirt, which Realmuto pounced on to try and get a stealing Swanson.
Then this happened.
The Phillies can't be remotely normal and bless them for ithttps://t.co/d9qkijQ6FM— Caig (@cdgoldstein) May 26, 2022
There really aren’t any words. It was horrendous by all three fielders, but the miss by Herrera actually allowed Swanson to score, making it 5-4. A home run by Austin Riley just as Swanson scored made it 6-4. Alvarado would end up loading the bases in the same inning, missing the strike zone by a lot on each batter. He was only saved in the inning when Alec Bohm started a double play that ended the inning with the Phillies still within striking distance.
The Braves made sure to put it away when they tacked on one in the seventh on a Swanson home run and in the eighth when an RBI double with two outs scored Riley from third and made the pathway to a victory just a little bit easier. That’s the way the game ended as the Braves’ bullpen shut things down from there, handing the Phillies yet another frustrating loss.
Those questions I posed at the beginning were me being facetious, but you have to wonder which really is the more frustrating. The way this season has unfolded, the best answer is probably the offense unable to get a big hit, but the other two have been on full display these few games. A shame, really, since the season is still so long that they may yet find another way to frustrate us, but with the Mets losing two games in a row, an opportunity to gain some divisional playing ground was wasted.
In the words of Jim Salisbury:
You can't make this sh-- up!— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) May 26, 2022