Girardi seethes, Harper admits to embarrassment after Phillies blown out at home


The Phillies' deficit in the National League East grew to 4½ games with just 21 to play in a humiliating, 11-2, loss to the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.

Manager Joe Girardi quietly seethed after the loss, his team's fourth straight.

"I'm just unhappy with the way we're playing," he said. "I don't really want to get into it publicly. I'm just not happy with the way we're playing."

Moments later, Bryce Harper was asked about the manager's anger.

"Definitely warranted," Harper said. "We just got beat by the Colorado Rockies twice. We got blown out, actually, today. It's definitely warranted, the way he's feeling. The irritation is there. The embarrassment is there, as well.

"It's not good. It's not good, the way we're approaching the game. It's not good the way our at-bats are going, our pitching, everything. It's just not good right now.

"As a whole, we need to be better. Individually, I need to be better. We don't have time to sit around and wait and see what's going to happen. We have to win games. We have to beat teams when they come into our ballpark. We can't get embarrassed like we did tonight this late in the season.

"We faced two good pitchers (Thursday and Friday night). But it's our ballpark and we definitely should be embarrassed about the way that we played in front of our fans tonight."

While sounding the alarm for the team to play better, Harper remained confident that the Phils still had a chance to catch the first-place Braves.


"We just have to be within striking distance when we get to Atlanta (for a three-game series Sept. 28)," he said. "The Braves are a great team. We've just got to take care of our business. 

"We need to be better. That's the simple truth. Pitching, hitting, playing every day needs to be better. Being a team, being a whole, not worrying about individual numbers or if you're a free agent or going to arbitration. You can't worry about any of that stuff. Worry about the team as a whole and what we can do to make the Phillies better and the team as a whole."

While Harper used the word "embarrassment" to describe Friday night's loss, the embarrassment within the embarrassment is that the Phillies don't have enough starting pitching to make it through the final month of the season in a playoff chase. Zach Eflin is out for the season and with no starting pitching depth -- at least none that anyone trusts -- the Phils are forced to use a cast of relievers every fifth game.

They got away with it Sunday in Miami, but not Friday night at home against a team that entered 19-50 on the road.

Seven Phillies relievers were tagged for 10 hits and three home runs. One of the home runs was a grand slam that put the Rockies up, 11-0, in the top of the ninth.

The Phillies plan to use the bullpen to get through four of the remaining 21 starts.

Was Friday night ugly enough to cause Girardi to rethink the plan?

"I'm worried about tomorrow," he said. "I'll worry about tomorrow then we'll rethink it when we have to rethink it."

The Phillies scored two garbage-time runs in the bottom of the ninth, one on a homer by Didi Gregorius. When Gregorius got back to the dugout, Harper crowned him with the team's traditional home run hat even though there wasn't much to celebrate being down 10 runs.

"We've been doing it all year," Harper said. "We're not going to change what we do."

Even in a blowout?

"Yes," Harper said.

Girardi was asked whether he thought the homer hat represented a bad look when the team was taking it on the chin by 10 runs.

He did not at first answer the question directly, but the answer he gave may have offered a view on what was eating at him.

"The thing about winning baseball is you move the line," Girardi said. "That's how you win games. You get people on base and you put pressure on the other team and you move the line."

He added, "I don't really care about the hat."

But clearly, Girardi cares about his team having good at-bats and they have been scarce lately. The Phils have scored just six runs during their four-game losing skid. They had eight hits and walked six times Friday night but were 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base.


Girardi was so unimpressed by his team's offense Friday night that he couldn't even muster any manager-speak when asked what made opposing starter German Marquez effective over six shutout innings.

"Not sure," Girardi said. "I'm not sure."

If anything else was bugging Girardi-- you know, energy, effort, urgency, or lack of those qualities -- he wasn't letting on.

"I'm not going to get into that publicly," he said. "We'll take care of it.

"I'm just not happy. I hate to lose."

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