Realmuto homers, but bullpen falters again in disappointing loss to Marlins

Realmuto and the Phillies drop opener
Joe Girardi was blunt on Thursday night following another implosion by the Phillies' bullpen in a 7-6 walk-off loss in Miami against the Marlins.

“These are the guys that got to get it done,” Girardi said. “These are the guys that we have. And they’ve got to find a way to get it done.”

This time, Girardi was talking about Tommy Hunter and Brandon Workman. Nursing a three-run lead in the eighth, Hunter loaded the bases before Workman came in and surrendered a bases-clearing double to Starling Marte to even the contest at 6-6. Workman than allowed a pair of singles in the ninth, including a walk-off single by Jorge Alfaro.

“It’s tough to swallow that one,” said Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto, who hit a solo homer in the loss.

The Phillies' bullpen has a 13.83 ERA over the past five games and an 8.42 ERA since Aug. 31. It's an area that continues to haunt the Phillies and their postseason aspirations.

“So far, we just haven’t gotten the job done," said catcher J.T. Realmuto. "That’s plain and simple. We’ve got to make some adjustments back there. Maybe attack guys a little bit differently. Maybe I can call pitches a little differently. We’ve got to do something different, but the talent is there. I would hang our hat on that for now and let us earn their trust back.”

The Phillies play a seven-inning doubleheader Friday with Aaron Nola starting Game 1. The bullpen will pitch Game 2. Compounding matters now is that Zack Wheeler will not pitch this weekend after snagging the nail on his middle finger while putting on his pants on Wednesday.

Girardi said he hopes Wheeler can go on Monday.

“Can’t make this up,” he said.

It's concerning on many levels, but the Phillies need the bullpen to contribute significantly over the remainder of this series in Miami.

“It’s going to be tough for us,” Realmuto said. “Guys are going to have to pitch a lot of innings. We’re going to have to pitch well. We’ve got the guys to do it. Our bullpen depth is pretty good. When the guys are right, we have the guys to do it. It’s a seven-game series. Starting off 0-1 isn’t ideal, but there’s a lot of games left.”
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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