Phillies manager Joe Girardi has a hard time thinking of tougher losses that he’s had to endure during his time in Philadelphia that would rival Thursday’s ninth-inning meltdown.
“I’ve had some playoff losses that were pretty tough,” Girardi said Thursday. “But it’s probably the toughest one since I’ve been here.”
It would certainly be hard to compete with, considering the Phillies had a 7-0 lead that still stood at 7-1 by the top of the ninth, only for the bullpen to collapse in stunning fashion, surrendering seven runs before the bats were retired in order in the bottom half of the ninth, as the Mets handed their division rivals an embarrassing 8-7 loss, one the Phillies had an extra night to think about after Friday’s rainout.
Like Girardi said, there have been tough playoff losses along the way, particularly during his tenure as Yankees manager. There was a walk-off loss in game two of the 2017 ALCS, and in game two of that year’s ALDS, he declined to listen to his catcher Gary Sanchez’s pleads to review a pitch that appeared to hit then-Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor’s bat, and Lindor went on to hit a grand slam and the Yanks coughed up an 8-3 lead.
But when it comes to his time with the Phillies, which hasn’t yielded any playoff games yet, Thursday stands alone.