Collapse against Mets ‘probably the toughest’

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PHILADELPHIA — Thursday night’s comeback win gave Queens a euphoric feeling, a sense that the first-placed Mets could be in for a special season.

In Philadelphia, it was the opposite end of the spectrum, having lost a six-run lead in the ninth inning.

“I had some playoff losses that were pretty tough,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said Thursday night. “But it’s probably the hardest thing since I’ve been here.”

And there were many difficult losses to choose from. Despite a star-studded – albeit top-heavy – roster, there weren’t nearly as many bright spots as expected. So far, Girardi’s return to the coaching bench hasn’t gone nearly as planned. He’s lost (127) more games than he’s won (121) as the Phillies have underperformed by a wide margin. Remember, this is a manager who won a World Series, made the playoffs six times, and won at least 91 games five times in 10 years while with the Yankees.

Joe Girardi called the meltdown against the Mets “probably the toughest I’ve been here.”
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST
James McCann (left) and Edwin Diaz (right) celebrate the Mets' comeback win over the Phillies.
James McCann (left) and Edwin Diaz (right) celebrate the Mets’ comeback win over the Phillies.
USA TODAY sports

In the 2020 season shortened by COVID-19, when eight teams from each league made the playoffs, the Phillies still failed to qualify. Last year they won just 82 games, and this season they got off to a poor start at 11-15, already seven games behind the NL East-leading Mets.

When the Phillies hired Girardi, it was viewed as a missed opportunity for the Mets. Now with an experienced manager in Buck Showalter, the Mets played a major role in the Phillies’ early-season woes, winning five of seven contests between the two teams. That includes a combined no-hitter and Thursday night’s miraculous win.

While it’s still early days, this could be a pivotal moment in the Phillies’ season. After the next two games against the Mets, they have a seven-game West Coast trip against the Mariners and Dodgers, then return home to face the rival Padres and Dodgers before returning to the walk street.

“You trust the guys in the room to get it done. You trust them,” Girardi said. “There is a lot of fighting in this room. They will come out fighting.”

Without a contract for next year – the Phillies have yet to exercise his option – Girardi’s future could depend on it. He needs his team to respond to the heaviest loss of his Philadelphia tenure. Collapse against Mets ‘probably the toughest’

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