I really thought we were past this. Things were going so well. Sure, the Phillies got shutout on Sunday against the lowly Pirates, but that happens. Good teams lose to bad teams all the time. The Phils entered play on Monday with a 72-56 record, and had a strong hold on the second wildcard spot. Despite all the good feelings, the Phillies found a way to utterly humiliate themselves against the hapless Arizona Diamondbacks.
Remember back on 5 May when the Phillies entered the ninth inning up 7-1 and somehow lost against the Mets? That was by far the lowest the team stooped in 2022; until Monday. The circumstances are far different this time. That Phillies team in May looked completely rudderless under the woefully inept Joe Girardi, but this one has been firing on all cylinders under Rob Thomson. That team looked destined to continue a decade-long postseason drought, while this one is firmly in a playoff spot. However, the two soul-crushing losses are remarkably similar in how absolutely pathetic they truly were.
Monday night’s game against the Diamondbacks came after a week where a streaking Phillies team went 6-1 the week before. Aside from a rough 5-0 shutout on Sunday, this team has looked every but the contender. That continued for all of three and a half innings last night.
The corpse of Madison Bumgarner took the hill for the Snakes, and the crotchety North Carolinian did what he does best: give up hits. The Phillies tagged MadBum for seven earned runs on 11 hits in only 3.2 innings. They had completely torpedoed the former World Series hero, and looked to be coasting into another easy win.
Everything started unraveling in the bottom of the fourth, when Ranger Suárez faltered. After a Josh Rojas groundout to start the inning, Suárez surrendered back-to-back singles to Ketel Marte and Christian Walker. An Emmanuel Rivera double got the D-Backs on the board, and a single from rookie Stone Garrett made it 7-2 Phillies. However, a mound visit from pitching coach Caleb Cotham seemed to calm Suárez down, and he fanned Jake McCarthy for the second out. Rookie Corbin Carroll strode to the plate with two on and two outs.
Suárez induced a sharp grounder to second base; just what the doctor ordered. However, the usually sure handed Jean Segura booted the ball, allowing Carroll to reach base safely, while Rivera scored. It became a 7-3 game. Suárez completely imploded from there, walking the nine hole hitter, Geraldo Perdomo to load the bases. A Carson Kelly double cleared the bases to make it a one-run ballgame. Suárez’s night was over, as Thomson called upon Cristopher Sánchez to get the final out. Sánchez stopped the bleeding by inducing a groundout from Rojas, and the game entered the fifth inning at 7-6 Phils. That was the last glimmer of hope we would have.
After a one-two-three top of the fifth, the Diamondbacks got right back to work in the bottom of the frame. Marte doubled to lead things off, and Walker lived up to his name by drawing a free pass. Rivera walked to load the bases, but Sánchez punched out Garrett to keep things where they stood. For those following, it’s bases loaded with one out at this point.
Sánchez then completely melted down, hitting McCarthy square in the back to drive in the tying run. After another mound visit, Carroll recorded his first major league hit in the form of a two-run double to give the Snakes a 9-7 lead.
With Sánchez unable to find the strike zone, Andrew Bellatti was tasked with putting out the fire, but it did no good. Bellatti walked the first batter he faced, Perdomo, to load the bases once more. Kelly then singled to drive in Arizona’s 10th run. After a Rojas popout, Marte drew a bases loaded walk to make it 11-7, and yet another free pass to Walker made it 12-7. Rivera mercifully struck out to retire the side, but not before Phillies fans everywhere committed ritual suicide.
The rest of the game was merely a formality, as the browbeaten Phillies were completely incapable of putting up a fight. The only other scoring came from an eighth inning solo shot off the bat of Stone Garrett, and the contest ended with a 13-7 Diamondbacks win.
This was a truly impressive display of ineptitude, as a legitimately good Phillies team just couldn’t get out of their own way. This win served to humiliate them not because of outstanding play from their opponents, but due to their own shortcomings. The Snakes had a few timely hits, but most of the Phillies wounds were self-inflicted. Too many walks, some of them with the bases loaded, allowed far too many runners to reach base. A key error from Segura not only extended an inning that should have only seen two runs score, but led to Rangers Suárez coming completely unglued at the worst time.
After such a brilliant start to the game, the Phillies just plain beat themselves. They had no business losing to a terrible D-Backs squad, and certainly not when they score seven runs in four innings. However, they turned out to be their own worst enemy as they found a way to humiliate themselves.
Yes, Monday night’s game was utterly pathetic and disheartening. But, as fans we must turn the page and look towards tomorrow. On the bright side, this still only counts as one in the loss column. Even after such a pitiful display, the Phils still sit at 72-57 and are 1.5 games up on the Padres for the second wildcard spot. Hopefully Aaron Nola will be able to outduel the excellent Zac Gallen, and get the Phils back on track Tuesday.