During the Phillies’ nine-game winning streak, the bullpen still had its share of shaky outings. The difference was that the offense was able to compensate for those failings. On Tuesday night, the extreme awfulness of the bullpen - combined with some poor defense - could not be compensated for. The result was an 11-9 loss to the Miami Marlins.
The game started off poorly when Zach Eflin allowed two home runs in the first inning, spotting the Marlins a quick 4-0 lead.
GARCya later! pic.twitter.com/kgM8mGJQJk— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) June 14, 2022
The offense looked like it might strike back quickly, loading the bases in the bottom of the inning. But J.T. Realmuto ended that threat by grounding out. This would not be the last negative contribution Realmuto made in the game. The Phillies again loaded the bases for Realmuto in the third. Fortunately, this time around, the Marlins were able to convert his ground ball into only one out, and the Phillies scored a run.
The Phillies weren’t done getting runners on base. In the fourth inning, they got two men aboard, and unlike Realmuto, Rhys Hoskins did not squander the opportunity.
RHYS. DEAN. HOSKINS. pic.twitter.com/e6x2tqvnTd— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 15, 2022
The Phillies added four more runs in the fifth, and with Eflin having rebounded nicely from that shaky start, the team looked to be in good shape. However, manager Rob Thomson decided that Eflin - despite having only thrown 80 pitches - was done after six innings.
Theoretically, turning to Jeurys Familia in the seventh with a four-run lead is the right move. The problem is that Familia does not merit being part of a major league bullpen anymore. He served up a three-run home run to Jacob Stallings to make the game close. Seranthony Dominguez does belong in a major league bullpen, but sadly he faltered as well, giving up a game-tying home run to Jazz Chisholm later in the inning.
Since one home run wasn’t enough to win it, Hoskins decided to hit another.
Yessirrrrrrr #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/9IRoJtWVba— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 15, 2022
The Phillies opened the ninth with a one run lead and Corey Knebel on the mound. They finished the inning with two errors - one by Realmuto - and a two-run deficit. Knebel can’t seem to locate either his fastball or curveball, leaving him with a total of zero effective pitches. My guess is that he ends up on the injured list tomorrow.
Unfortunately, the bullpen is a problem that doesn’t seem to have many good answers right now. Neither Knebel nor Familia can be trusted at the moment and giving more high-leverage appearances to the likes of Andrew Bellatti or Jose Alvarado doesn’t fill me with much confidence either. But if they don’t figure out something soon, it might not matter how many runs the offense scores.