Joe Girardi: Phillies' Collapse vs. Mets 'Probably' Toughest Loss of My Tenure

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 6, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 05: Mark Canha #19 and Travis Jankowski #16 of the New York Mets celebrate in front of Corey Knebel #23 of the Philadelphia Phillies after both scored a run in the top of the ninth inning at Citizens Bank Park on May 5, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Mets defeated the Phillies 8-7. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Things were looking up for the Philadelphia Phillies. They took a 7-1 lead into the top of the ninth against their NL East rivals, the New York Mets, with the chance to end a three-game losing streak.

But relief pitchers James Norwood and Corey Knebel proceeded to give up seven runs, the Phillies couldn't rally in the bottom of the inning and they lost 8-7 on Thursday night. 

"One of them, yeah," manager Joe Girardi told reporters when asked if it was the toughest loss of his managerial career. "I've had some playoff losses that were pretty tough. But it's probably the toughest one since I've been here."

It spoiled an excellent outing from Phillies starter Aaron Nola (seven innings, three hits and one run allowed, seven strikeouts) and an outburst from Philadelphia's talented but struggling lineup, which included homers from Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos. 

For an 11-15 Phillies team that has underachieved after the offseason additions of Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber, Thursday's game against the Mets would have been a huge win. Instead, it was a devastating loss. 


Down 7-1 ➡️ Up 8-7<br><br>A simply Amazin' 9th for the <a href="https://twitter.com/Mets?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Mets</a>. <br><br>(MLB x <a href="https://twitter.com/coronaextrausa?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@coronaextrausa</a>) <a href="https://t.co/wpXa0MV8Sd">pic.twitter.com/wpXa0MV8Sd</a>

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

The Mets score 7 runs in the top of the 9th to come back and beat the Phillies.<br><br>Prior to tonight, the Mets had lost their last 330 games over the last 25 seasons when trailing by 6 or more runs entering the final frame. <a href="https://t.co/mwSImIrfjb">pic.twitter.com/mwSImIrfjb</a>

Todd Zolecki @ToddZolecki

This was the fifth time in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Phillies?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Phillies</a> history they lost when leading by six or more runs in the ninth inning, according to <a href="https://twitter.com/EliasSports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EliasSports</a>. It was the first time since May 10, 1994, in Atlanta.

"It sucks, man," Castellanos told reporters. "There's no way around it. Baseball sometimes, sucks. Tonight sucked."

The question for Philadelphia will be how it bounces back. 

"You trust the guys in the room to get it done. You trust them," Girardi told reporters. "There's a lot of fight in that room. They'll come out fighting."

Coming into the season, the bats and starting pitching were considered strengths for the Phillies, while the bullpen and defense were major question marks. Twenty-six games later, little has changed.

Corey Seidman @CSeidmanNBCS

(All other teams a combined 36-5 in such games this season)

As for the Mets, something special is brewing in the Big Apple. They are 19-9 and five games clear of the second-place Miami Marlins (12-12) in the NL East. After years of underachieving—the Mets last reached the postseason in 2016—the team finally appears to be a contender.

Jeff Passan @JeffPassan

The Mets already have had a lot of good wins this season. That was the best.

Todd Frazier @FlavaFraz21

This <a href="https://twitter.com/Mets?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Mets</a> team is different boys and girls

Ben Verlander @BenVerlander

I TRIED TO TELL YALL THE <a href="https://twitter.com/Mets?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Mets</a> WILL BE GOOD THIS YEAR!!<br><br>“The Mets gonna Met” crowd down BAD

Thursday's game felt like a microcosm of each team's season. The Mets keep finding ways to win, and the Phillies seem to find creative new ways to lose.