Girardi, the bullpen nearly cost the Phillies a win. Zach Wheeler was pitching a gem going 8 innings allowing only four hits. No runs or walks and striking out 12 but Manager “Analytics” Girardi opted to pull him from the 1-0 Phillies lead.
To the Action
Odubel Herrera should have had a triple but felt the need the showboat and settle for a double but was brought home one batter later when Jean Segura (3 for 5 with Three RBI) followed with a double in the bottom of the eighth to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead and set Wheeler up for a complete game. One problem. “Analytics Joe”… Girardi was probably looking to yank Wheeler after the fourth inning… pulled Wheeler to set up Hector Neris for a save… clearly, Girardi has not seen Neris pitch much.
A Freddie Freeman blast that Odubel Herrera missed timed his jump, tied it at 1-1. Then, a walk. Girardi never made a move to replace the clearly ineffective Neris but, somehow escaped the damage. Think Neris was bad? Jose Alvarado said, “hold my beer” and surrendered 3 walks, a run-off a wild pitch, and a run-off a passed ball, and Analytics Joe sat impassively while the Phillies fell behind by a 3-1 score heading to the bottom of the tenth. Atlanta showed they out stink any bullpen and reliever, Chris Martin allowed three hits with the biggest coming from Jean Segura who nailed a two-run double to mark the second consecutive walk-off victory.
“The walk-off yesterday was huge,” Segura said. “It gave us momentum to play a little bit better. To be able to win this one today, to come from behind, especially after we gave it up in the top of the 10th, that’s huge. That tells you what type of team and what type of ability we have to play this game. I think if we keep it together like that, I think this team could be really, really good.”
The Phils are starting to build something… is it a house of cards? With Analytics Joe insisting on yanking pitchers after four innings and or not letting them complete what that started… and a bullpen that consists of only Ranger Suarez… with an anemic offense, how high can this house of cards go? Girardi, the bullpen nearly cost the Phillies a win.