Has Phillies’ Manager Joe Girardi Been As Good As Advertised?

MLB: APR 09 Phillies at Braves
ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 09: Joe Girardi #25 of the Philadelphia Phillies during the Atlanta Braves 2021 season home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 09, 2021 at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire)
Since Joe Girardi was hired by the Phillies, has he lived up to your expectations? Has he done enough to get an extension?

I am sure that we all remember the Phillies manager before Joe Girardi, as many fans did not connect with his style of coaching. For those that do not know, his name is Gabe Kapler. After cutting ties with the Phillies, Kapler took the lead of the San Francisco Giants. This, of course, is the same San Francisco Giants who beat the Phillies 2 out of 3 times in their only series match-up this season.

Now, there is a reason why Gabe Kapler is not here; he did not always make the right decision over his two years in Philly. This includes taking out Aaron Nola on Opening Day 2018 in the 6th inning as he was only at 68 pitches with a 5-0 lead. Jake Arrieta also said, “we’re the worst in the league with shifts, so we need to change that.” That incident also took place during the 2018 season and it was not a good reflection of the manager.

As the team owner, John Middleton, was looking for a change to his baseball team, he wanted a more traditional manager that knew how to get the most out of his players. As we all know, he chose Joe Girardi to fill that void. The real question that I have to ask is, has Joe Girardi met your expectations?

Joe Girardi has definitely not met mine

I had the expectations of him having this team ready to play mechanically sound defense, able to get the players fired up for games on the road, and finally, be able to use his bullpen pitchers in situations for them to succeed.

Gabe Kapler was ripped by Philadelphia fans and media for his funky tactics. In the past few weeks alone, Joe Girardi has had multiple instances about his decision making.

I was at the game last Tuesday when the Phillies beat the Brewers 6-5. The offense was clicking for the first 3 innings as Andrew McCutchen hit two home runs and Brad Miller launched a 3 run tank shot to the upper deck. Aaron Nola did not have his best outing but he pitched a gutsy 6 innings, giving up 5 hits, 1 run, and 10 strikeouts.

Mistakes Happen, But…

The team called Enyel De Los Santos up from their Triple-A affiliate, Leigh Valley Iron Pigs, that day. They were cruising when they brought him in, but he was not on the umpires line-up card. Yes, you read that right. Girardi overlooked that one of his players was not on the umpire’s card, preventing him from pitching.

Mistakes happen. I totally get it. I am not mad about that because it happens. My problem with this situation is that he had Connor Brogdon fully warmed up when this happened. He did not decide to put him in, so what does he do? He puts in David Hale, who did not warm up at all and was ice cold. Hale then goes on to give up 2 hits and 3 runs without recording an out.

Phillies’ Random Struggles Continue

My next beef with Girardi was in the game Saturday night against the Atlanta Braves. I understand putting in Scott Kingery for his defense. Even though he can’t hit water if he fell out of a boat, he needs to be in there for defensive purposes. I also do not blame him for bringing in Hector Neris. Neris just made a bad pitch at the wrong time. It happens. However, my frustration goes with him taking out Jean Segura in a double switch.

Why on earth would anyone take out the hottest hitter in the lineup. Jean had 7 hits in his last 2 games! What is the benefit you ask? Oh, it was to move the pitcher’s spot down two spots in the batting order. In my opinion, that is not the move to make when we all know that the Braves have a history of coming back in the late in games.

Is Girardi going to get extended? I can’t say one way or another. But, what I can tell you is that he has a lot of work to do if he wants to help his case.

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Photo Credit: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire