The Phillies today on June 29th start a 6 game home stand that begins with a 3 game set beginning with the Miami Marlins and concluding on 4th of July weekend with the red hot San Diego Padres. They sit at a record of 36-40 and are only 5 games out of first with 86 games left to go in the regular season. So with that being said why are they officially unwatchable you might ask? Well that has to do with 3 reasons, the bullpen, the back of the rotation, and Joe Girardi. These 3 things have been holding this team back all year and let's dive into why that is.
First and the biggest reason for this teams ineptitude the bullpen. I would make the argument that this is the worst unit of any in major league baseball. In the last 8 games the Phillies bullpen owns a 7.64 era in the 7th inning or later and opponents are slashing .359/.429/.577. That's horrific. But is that a shock? Last year in a 60 game shortened season the Phillies bullpen owned a major league high 7.06 era. This is who they are. A unit that is beyond incompetent and needs some serious work this off-season. I Wouldn't even be mad if the Phils don't spend any money or spend any time on any other part of this roster this off-season other than the bullpen...it's that bad. Philadelphia tried to solve the issue by acquiring guys like Jose Alvarado from Tampa Bay and signing Archie Bradley in free agency. Alvarado has worked out great for this team, Ranger Suarez has taken a big leap forward this season, and a guy like Bailey Falter has shown promise but in only 5 appearances so far in his young career. Other than that, this bullpen for the most part has been such an utter joke. There has been no reason over the past 2 seasons so far to watch the end of Phillies games because you know if they have a lead there is a good shot they'll blow it. Before I forget to mention this, Hector Neris is terrible at baseball and should be DFA'd. And by the way, the Phillies have lost over 20 games this season in which they've had a lead at any point in the game?
Next, the back of the rotation. This out of the 3 is easily the least of the issues that is holding this team back but is still an issue nonetheless. Eflin, Velasquez, Howard there is 1 word to describe all 3 of them...inconsistent. The Phils need more from these guys especially with how putrid the bullpen has been. More so with Eflin and Velasquez both of these guys have had there runs this year where they look amazing as the 3 and 4 of this rotation, but also have there runs where they look like maybe a 5 on a winning team. The more consistency this team gets from these three players throwing quality starts together than bad starts, the more it will hide the ineptitude of the Phillies bullpen and will give the Phils more chances to win games and not use many guys out of the pen.
Onto Joe Giardi. Man was I happy when the Phillies hired him to be there manager before the 2020 season. Very successful manager with the Yanks world series winning guy consistently in the playoffs but there's one thing I didn't think of when he was hired. He was succeeding with the Yankees. It's very easy to succeed when you have some of the best to ever play this game on your team. It's very easy to succeed when you have better personnel than almost everyone else. It's very easy to succeed when you have a higher payroll to work with than everyone else. It's very easy when you have better upper management than almost everyone else. It's very easy to succeed when you have a better farm system and player development staff than almost everyone else. Can you do it with less to work with? Can you do it with more adversity? Can you make a team perform above expectations? And so far to all 3 of those questions the answer has been a hard no. To be fair Joe has managed 136 games with the Phillies so less than a full season but his ball club has not looked good at all over that span. His in game decision making has been underwhelming and he is failing at his biggest strength which has always been putting a solid pitching staff together. Also the Phillies fundamental baseball has been terrible under him as well. Should he be fired? No I think its way way too early for that. He has built a reputation in this league where he deserves a year or two more. But should he be on the hot seat soon and held responsible for this mess of a baseball team? Absolutely.
To close it out, I believe the Phillies start this home stand right and win the Marlins series. With Velasquez, Nola, and Eflin I believe the Phillies take at least 2 out of 3 and don't be surprised if a potential sweep happens. I don't say that confidently but something is telling me the Phillies are going to take care of business this series. First pitch tonight is 7:05 ET tonight Trevor Rogers vs Vince Velasquez and lets hope the return of Jean Segura tonight sparks this club into a few wins.We all need this ball club earns back it's watchable status. I'll check back in with all of you at the end of this 6 game home stand Lets Go Phils!