Is former Yankees manager Joe Girardi on hot seat after Phillies collapse?


There’s always a former New York Yankee in the news. Such is life as the most popular sports franchise in America. Luckily, all is well in the Bronx right now. But Philly? Oh man. Bad.

Phillies manager Joe Girardi got caught taking a ton of heat these last two games, which were awful losses for his team. On Wednesday, he pulled ace Zack Wheeler after the right-hander had thrown just 78 pitches across 7.2 innings, which eventually led to a bullpen meltdown in the 10th, where he had to use Brad Hand (a reliever who is no longer good).

But Thursday night against the New York Mets was an all-timer. To kick off a four-game set against their division rivals, Philadelphia held a 7-1 lead heading into the top of the ninth. For all you stat nerds out there, the Phillies had a 99.9% chance to win the game.

Eight hits and seven runs later, they were down 8-7 and then lost after failing to do anything in the bottom half of the inning. Girardi started the inning with reliever James Norwood and let him wilt, though, truth be told, there wasn’t much that could be done.

Norwood threw 11 pitches and allowed four runs on four hits in 1/3 of an inning. Possibly the most efficiently awful performance ever? Then came closer Corey Knebel, who finished the inning, but surrendered three earned runs on four hits.

Again, hard to argue with bringing in your best reliever mid-meltdown, but losses of this magnitude are almost always a reflection of who’s in charge.

Is former Yankees manager Joe Girardi in danger of being fired?

Head on over to the wonderful place that is Phillies Twitter and you won’t see a single vote of confidence for Girardi, who the fans have been fed up with for quite some time. After plentiful offseason upgrades that seemingly gave Girardi the best roster he’s ever had as the Phillies’ skipper, the team is just 11-15 to begin 2022.

They’re 2-5 against the division-leading Mets, who continue to separate themselves from the pack in the NL East.

To make matters worse, the Phillies jettisoned Gabe Kapler in favor of Girardi back after the 2019 season. Kapler has since led arguably the most notable turnaround in MLB with the San Francisco Giants these last few years, winning a league-best 107 games in 2021 following a 29-31 record in the shortened 2020.

As for Girardi, he’s yet to bring Philly to the postseason and has a sub-.500 record (121-127) since being hired. All his fault? Not a chance. The Phillies are famously an inept franchise, having been to the playoffs just six times since the mid-1980s. But he’s not exactly helping as much as fans had initially believed.

Throw in a franchise-record payroll for the 2022 season, and this slow start might be shortening Girardi’s leash by the day. His questionable pitching decisions (remember those, Yankees fans?) and inability to put out a consistent lineup on a nightly basis has led to a lot of unrest in Philly, and it’s unclear how much longer he’ll last if the groans become louder.

It’d be an earth-shattering move for the Phillies to fire their manager just 26 games in, but it’s not like the reasoning for doing so would be inconsistent. The same issues have followed Girardi ever since he failed to get back to the World Series with the Yankees after the 2009 season. The only difference is that Phillies fans have caught on and are in unison that this marriage may no longer be tenable.