A revelation from the piggyback roles is decimated by the bullpen
Such a shame.
On a night where the Phillies finally found a nice pair of roles for two of their young starters, the bullpen reared its ugly head to destroy a game for the team. Spencer Howard wasn’t all that great, but he was ably supported by Bailey Falter for 6 innings, leading the Phillies to a 4-2 lead headed into the seventh.
Let’s first set the scene.
The first inning had a moment where we all thought the game was going to go poorly. Odubel Herrera led off with a double, then went to third on a fly ball. After Andrew McCutchen walked, Bryce Harper hit a groundball to first that Joey Votto came home with, throwing Herrera out by a country mile. That ruined a solid scoring chance, one that looked like it would loom large when Howard gave up a two-run single to Nick Castellanos in the third that made it 2-0, Reds.
However, in the fourth, Harper singled and scored on an Alec Bohm double that cut the lead in half.
Bryce was HUSTLING on this RBI double from Bohm to give the Phillies their first run of the night
That hit snaps an 0-for-11 streak for Alec Bohm: pic.twitter.com/cQd0pqlzh6
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) June 28, 2021
Luke Williams bunted his way on, sending Bohm to third, a solid baseball play by Williams. Bohm would score on the next batter, a fielder’s choice from Andrew Knapp that tied the game at two.
In the fourth, Bohm came through again when he singled home Herrera to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. The impressive part of the inning came with two outs, the bases loaded and Ronald Torreyes up. He hit a slow roller that Eugenio Suarez cut off and threw to second, but the hustle by Luke Williams to make it to the base before the throw gave the Phillies another run.
— Brodes Media (@BrodesMedia) June 29, 2021
It was a refreshing thing to see, a smart, hustling baseball play from someone on the Phillies. SEE – I’M WRITING A GOOD THING!!!!!!
Unfortunately, that is about the last good thing to write about in this game. Bailey Falter was cruising right along, but when he allowed a baserunner to get on in the seventh, Joe Girardi decided that was enough and with the the meat of the Reds’ order coming up, he summoned…. Neftali Feliz.
The same Neftali Feliz who hadn’t pitched in MLB in two years.
Want to guess what the inning ended up like?
GRAND SLAM NICK CASTELLANOS FOR THE DAMN LEAD pic.twitter.com/FRO3cXJ5Id
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) June 29, 2021
When asked postgame why he chose Feliz over other names such as Hector Neris (since he’s not the closer anymore) or Connor Brogdon – you know, guys who have pitched this year – Girardi said:
Girardi said he could have used Neris or Brogdon in that situation. Bradley was down. They liked Feliz in that part of the Reds’ order.
— Destiny Lugardo (@destiny_lugardo) June 29, 2021
The rest of the game was just Enyel de los Santos being led to slaughter, the Reds putting up a six spot on him in the eighth before Girardi mercifully put him out of his misery with Nick Maton replacing him for the final out of the inning.
It was another predictable performance from the bullpen. Lacking the necessary talent to throw anybody into that situation in the seventh, Girardi chose poorly, showing his head scratching decision making yet again this season. Choosing Feliz over two other more suited (?) pitcher in that situation is questionable at best, negligent at worst. They’ll head home to face Miami in a series that, well, you kind of already know how it’s going to go.
Obligatory positive comment since apparently we have to now
Bailey Falter was great. Four innings of one run ball in relief of Howard was exactly what the team hoped for when they put him in. He’s been very good since he’s been recalled here, creating the possibility that his role with the team will grow more important as the games pile up.