The Phillies continued their inconsistent roller coaster ride of a season last night when the Marlins clawed back from multiple three-run deficits to win the ballgame 11-6. This result, along with a plethora of frustrating losses lately, left many media and fans continuing to question whether Joe Girardi’s role as the manager should carry on much longer.
Despite his questionable decision, the Phillies can’t hastily dismiss Girardi.
While these inquiries are valid, they may be rushed and fail to examine the full scope of the situation unfolding with this ballclub. Girardi, without a doubt, leaves spectators scratching their heads on multiple occasions with his management of starters and relievers. The continuous double switching doesn’t help matters either.
However, the players haven’t been providing much help. Last night, for example, the Phillies skipper explained in the post-game presser his options out of the bullpen again were limited. This situation explained why he opted for Neftali Feliz instead of Ranger Suarez, who experienced back spasms earlier in the day. Once that went awry, he hoped Hector Neris could eat up a few innings.
30 pitches and two runs later, Enyel De Los Santos, who Girardi wanted to avoid using. Followed by Connor Brogdon, who threw Tuesday, found themselves entrenched in another late-game mess. Furthermore, another untimely Alec Bohm error contributed to Neris’s misfortunes in the sixth inning. A tailor-made double-play ball that Bohm stabbed his glove at; an all too familiar sight at this juncture.
For the Phillies to win, their star players in the field and rotation must perform up to standard. Unfortunately for the club, Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin are unknowns this season from start to start. Nola seemed to turn the page last weekend again the New York Mets, but then turns around and can’t get through five innings. It’s challenging to place the blame entirely at the feet of Girardi for that outcome.
In addition, navigating the injuries of Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, and Didi Gregorius leave an arduous road to develop a cohesive unit capable of piecing together sizable winning streaks.
Dave Dombroski is also only beginning to implement his strategy to re-tool this club. Giving the Dombroski-Girardi tandem time to build their brand of baseball in Philadelphia will allow for a complete assessment as to whether they can guide the Phillies back to prominence.
It’s safe to say events haven’t unfolded well under Girardi’s short tenure in the Phillies dugout. However, more time needs to elapse to allow these winning baseball minds to figure out how to escape this pit of revolving mediocrity.
A majority of the fan base thought firing Gabe Kapler would lead to the long-sought turnaround. The issues within this team, though, are more deeply rooted. The Phillies can’t rush to make the same mistake again but instead let the process play out because the holes in this team aren’t overnight fixes.
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