By Sam Bush

Ever since he hurt his right arm on April 16, NL MVP Bryce Harper has been the Phillies designated hitter.

Which keeps him in the line-up where he can swing away.

As he did last night in the ninth inning to give the Phils a 5-4 lead over the Braves with a towering jack.

The trouble is that the rest of the line-up are designated underachievers.

And the bullpen sucks worse than it did in 2021, when it was the worst in baseball.

Harper almost single-handedly carried the Phillies to victory, but they blew a one-run lead on 10 pitches in the ninth for a 6-5 loss to the Braves.

Harper’s two-run home run to right field gave the Phils a one-run lead. It was another clutch moment from the reigning National League MVP, who pumped his fists and shouted as he ran the bases.

Click to watch

Harper could not wait to celebrate with his teammates in the dugout. He could not wait to celebrate a victory.

But in the blink of an eye, the Phillies lost another game in excruciating fashion.

“We can’t keep doing it,” Harper told MLB.com.

“We’ve got to win games. Baseball happens, you win, you lose. It’s part of the game, but a game like that — we’ve got to win a game like that.”

The Phillies blew a six-run lead in the ninth inning against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park on May 5. They were one strike from sweeping the Dodgers in a four-game series at Dodger Stadium on May 15, but they lost.

Closer Corey Knebel threw nine pitches on Monday and 23 pitches on Sunday. Knebel waved his hand and mumbled that he was unavailable, when asked. Jeurys Familia threw 23 pitches on Monday. Girardi said he was unavailable. Seranthony Domínguez threw 11 pitches on Sunday and 26 pitches on Saturday. Girardi said he was unavailable, too.

“We were short, really short tonight in the bullpen,” Girardi said.

Girardi does not like to use relief pitchers three consecutive days, especially early in the season. The risk of injury is too severe. He did not consider making an exception following Harper’s homer.

“It’s early in the year, I just … no,” Girardi said.

“I think that’s how the game works,” Harper said. “I just think that’s how the game’s always been or since I’ve been playing. When a guy’s down, a guy’s down. There’s nothing I can do.”

About admin

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply