Sometimes it’s easy to determine to why a bad team is bad. For instance, the 2020 Phillies had a historically bad bullpen that kept an otherwise decent team from making the playoffs. But it’s harder to identify exactly why the 2022 Phillies are so bad. Yes, the manager isn’t adding any value, the defense is weak, and the bullpen has some glaring deficiencies, but you can’t really point to any one area and proclaim, “THIS is the problem.” The Phillies are just a team that finds ways to lose baseball games. And that’s exactly what they did on Tuesday night when they dropped their fifth straight game, 7-4 to the San Francisco Giants.
There was a lot of blame to go around for this one. The offense continues to underwhelm, and squandered multiple opportunities for huge innings. The most glaring example came in the sixth inning: With a run already across and the bases loaded with no outs, they only managed to score one more run.
As for the pitching, Ranger Suarez got the start, but he racked up a high pitch count, requiring 22 pitches to get out of the first. Still, he held the Giants scoreless until the fifth, when two singles in the inning prompted a call to the bullpen. Nick Nelson entered the game, walked the first batter he faced, and then allowed all three runners to score.
The bullpen did a decent job after that...until the tenth inning. For whatever reason, Joe Girardi chose to do away with his “nobody pitches three days in a row” rule to bring Jeurys Familia into the game. I don’t think you can blame overuse for this play though:
Thanks in part to an excellent play by Johan Camargo, they escaped without further damage, giving the Phillies a chance in the bottom of the inning. They eventually tied it up on a seeing-eye single by Alec Bohm. Some might call that good luck, but wiser fans knew it was actually bad luck because it meant we’d have to endure the misery for a bit longer.
At least Andrew Bellatti didn’t make us suffer for too long. He quickly gave up an RBI double to Donovan Walton, and despite there being a base open, pitched to Joc Pederson.
Gave it a Jocular pat-down and cleared for passage pic.twitter.com/LDRfaXafXI— SFGiants (@SFGiants) June 1, 2022
The Phillies pretended to mount a threat in the bottom of the inning. Kyle Schwarber drew a walk, and with two outs, the Giants didn’t duplicate the Phillies’ mistake of letting the opponent’s best hitter swing the bat. Instead, Bryce Harper - representing the tying run - was intentionally walked in favor of Roman Quinn. To nobody’s surprise, Quinn struck out.
The Phillies will attempt to salvage the finale and snap the losing streak on Wednesday night. And with the team’s playoff hopes already starting to slip away, the only drama left may be in seeing what new ways they can find ways to lose.