This Phillies bullpen is a massive problem and I have no idea what they plan to do to fix it. To recap, in game one, Zack Wheeler went 6 strong allowing only 2 earned runs to the best lineup in baseball. He left the game with a comfortable 11-3 lead and allowed Austin Davis to come in relief to close out the 7 inning game. He gave up 3 quick singles, a bomb from Judge, then two more singles before getting absolutely bailed out with a strike three call that should've loaded the bases.
Then Girardi is forced to use his closer, and only capable bullpen arm, to close out an inning that began at an 8 run lead. Austin Davis could not be fucking trusted with an 8 run lead.
Fast forward to game 2. Aaron Nola absolutely shoves for 6 innings, pitching one of his best games in the past 2 years by dealing and striking out 12 while only allowing 1 run. He was truly disgusting.
Then the seventh inning comes around again and it's the same fucking shit. Tommy fucking Hunter is complete garbage. He gives up single, single, double, single, and exits the game getting 0 outs, giving up two runs, and leaving the bases loaded. Luckily Adam Morgan came in and surprisingly shut the door by getting a K and a double play to end the inning, saving Hunter from what should have been an absolutely laughable stat line.
There are many Philly fans out there that blame Girardi for what happened yesterday. How do you take Nola out in the sixth? Neris only threw one pitch in game one, how do you not bring him back out in game two? What Girardi did yesterday was absolutely the right move. You can not go out and overwork these guys who haven't only not played in 12 days, they haven't even been able to go to the facility until this past weekend. You can not just go from doing nothing for two weeks to going back in your first game back and throwing 100 pitches, or throwing two extended bullpen sessions in one day. Especially since these two guys are some of the only capable arms on the entire team. It's not Girardi's fault that he has a bullpen that is physically incapable of getting out of a single inning unscathed.
Yes, this team has multiple problems right now. They aren't hitting well, they aren't fielding well, they aren't driving in runners in scoring position, but at least there's hope for that to turn around. There is legitimately no hope for this current bullpen.
Let's take a look at the relievers we have thrown out there this year. We have 4 guys who have pitched scoreless innings. Hector Neris and then 3 unbelievably average players who can not be the cornerstone of your pen. There is Jose Alvarez, who has a decent career ERA of 3.6 mainly throwing to lefties. Trevor Kelley, a 26-year-old second-year guy who found some success in the minors but is currently sitting at a career 8.6 ERA in the biggs. Finally Adam Morgan, the 30-year-old who has been below average at best in his 6 years with the Phillies with a career ERA at 4.8. That's it. Those are the guys we can "count" on in this pen. Our closer, two lefty specialists, and a young guy who has had no success in the bigs.
Now let's get to the shit of the pen. Tommy Hunter, the 34-year-old veteran with a career 4.1 ERA who hadn't pitched in over a year due to injuries. Reggie McClain, the 26-year-old who has posted a 5.9 ERA in the majors in his past two years. Deolis Guerra has posted a 4.7 ERA in his 4 years at the big league level. Nick Pivetta who has been blatantly awful out of the pen in his career. Then rookie Ramon Rosso who has decent stuff but has only thrown one-third of an inning this year and couldnt find the strike zone at all. Finally, Austin Davis and Cole Irvin who are both so bad that I can't even get into it. Ok fine, they both have career ERA's around 6.This bullpen is filled with shit who has always been shit, and will always be shit. The worst part of it all, we knew this was the bullpen we were getting going into the year and Klentak and Middleton did absolutely nothing about it.
Last year we had the 23rd best relief corps in the league and we brought in 0 guys to fix it. ZERO. John Middleton makes absolutely no sense. He gives Bryce Harper one of the biggest contracts in baseball history but refuses to pay anyone else. He refuses to bring in relievers, he refuses to resign JT, he refuses to do the things that it takes to put your 330 million dollar man in a position to win. It is so evident that he is this billionaire owner who likes to talk this huge game about doing whatever it takes to bring this city another championship but has absolutely no interest of going into the luxury tax. Not to mention he hired a GM in Klentak who is absolutely CLUELESS when it comes to constructing a baseball team. I love the Phillies, and I love baseball but god damn do I hate this front office. I understand that it's early, but when the entire season is two months long there's not a whole lot of time to catch up.
I don't know how, but this front office needs to figure it out.