In baseball, there are all different kinds of losses and each of them hurt in different ways.
There are losses where, as a team, you simply get embarrassed and make a fool of yourself. In 2018, the Mets put a 26-4 whipping on the Phillies in the first game of a mid-August doubleheader, a loss in which then-manager Gabe Kapler ran two position players out there for the final three innings. In ‘15, there was the famed “white flag” 19-3 game in Baltimore when the Orioles beat down Ryne Sandberg’s squad and Chase Utley was seen yelling at pitching coach Bob McClure for not taking Jeff Francoeur off the mound after 50+ pitches.
There are games where offensive futility frustrates, especially against no-name starting pitchers with ERAs over 6.00. It feels like the Phillies have experienced a number of those in recent seasons. Last Friday, these same Mets no-hit the Phillies, the 20th time in franchise history the Phils have been no-hit. Josh Beckett’s 6-0 no-no in 2014 springs to mind, too.
There are the losses when opportunities abound but an offense struggles to get that one big hit. There is nothing more frustrating in sports than failing to take advantage of opportunities, like failing to come through with runners in scoring position. Then there are losses in must-win games against a lousy team, like 2019’s 19-11 loss to the Marlins in which the Phils held a 7-0 lead but saw it all vanish in the middle innings, turning a must-win Phillies rout into a blowout loss. Or, the entire month of September last year, when the Phils had the easiest schedule in baseball and still couldn’t win a wild card.
But the ones that hurt the most are the late inning collapses, and when it comes to these little slices of devastation, we have become connoisseurs. We are the sommeliers of the final inning meltdown, and last night, we experienced a vintage so rare you can count on one hand the number of times it has happened in the Phils’ 139-year history. To wit:
- The last time the Mets won a game they trailed by 6+ in the 9th inning or later was Sept. 13, 1997 vs the Expos. They had been 0-330 in all similar events until last night.
- From @EliasSports, The Phillies had lost one game they led by 6+ runs entering the 9th since 1937, back on May 10, 1994, vs. the Braves. That night, Doug Jones and Heathcliff Slocumb blew an 8-1 lead in the 9th, and then lost in the 15th. Here’s video of that 9th inning collapse if you’re truly into torturing yourself.
This is the 5th time in Phillies franchise history they’ve lost when leading by 6+ in the 9th or later, along with:— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) May 6, 2022
5/10/1994 vs Braves
7/13/1937 vs Giants
5/07/1925 vs Giants
8/17/1896 vs Orioles
- At the beginning of the 9th inning, the Phillies’ odds of winning stood at 99.8%. Even after Francisco Lindor’s two-run homer made it 7-3, their odds were still at 98.7%.
MY THERAPIST: you need to stop fixating on the Phillies. They're not real and they can't hurt you.— CANNNG (@cdgoldstein) May 6, 2022
THE PHILLIES: pic.twitter.com/FgsgVSI4e6
Most recently, MLB teams were 0-684 when trailing by 6 runs in final inning before Mets stunned #Phillies tonight.— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) May 6, 2022
To recap, in the span of one week, the Phillies have been no-hit by the Mets, swept by the last place Texas Rangers at home, and suffered a soul-crushing, 9th inning collapse the likes of which have only occurred five times before in franchise history.
At this moment, it sure does appear as if something special is brewing for the Mets in the NL East. They’re pulling off wins at a rate and in the style of the 1993 Phillies and, if the Phils don’t turn it around quick, they’ll be out of the race before it’s really begun.
You’d think we’d be used to this by now.