After experiencing the disaster that was the 2020 Phillies bullpen, I made a point to never start writing these recaps until the game was over; I was burned by writing about non-victory one too many times. But with a 7-1 lead, I figured that the Phillies had victory well in hand on Thursday night, so I began to write this as the ninth inning opened. Needless to say, much of what was in that draft did not stay in the final version, as the Phillies blew that six-run lead and fell to the Mets 8-7.
After 2020, you might think we were all immune to bullpen meltdowns. After enduring a season - even an abbreviated one - in which no lead was safe at any time, what’s another blown lead? But no amount of immunity could make what happened in this game bearable.
I don’t really want to write much about this game now, and I suspect you don’t want to read much about it. Who cares that the Phillies jumped all over Mets starter Taijuan Walker in the first inning? Who cares that Aaron Nola pitched well? That good was all undone by James Norwood and Corey Knebel.
I might normally give Knebel a pass because he had been good up until now and he had to hurriedly get ready for the game. But he’s got to find a way to close this out. And it wasn’t like the Mets were getting lucky or taking advantage of errors. Aside from one infield single - which Knebel probably should have fielded - the Mets were hitting the ball solidly.
If there are any optimists left out there, you can say “This only counts for one game” and “Big comeback wins like this often don’t carry over into the next day,” but do you really believe that? The Mets are enjoying a season in which almost everything has gone their way, while the Phillies have seemingly been cursed. The most likely outcome is that the Phillies sleepwalk through at least two more losses in the series.
I’ll close out by apologizing for my role in this mess. I knew better than to start the recap before game’s end, but I did it anyway. If you want to write to the site manager and ask that I never be allowed to recap another Phillies game - or even watch another game for that matter - I would completely understand, and would accept that punishment willingly.