The Phillies’ rash of blown saves refuses to go away. Nothing can stop it. Not even new blood.
Neftali Feliz became the latest provider of misery when he failed to protect a two-run lead in the bottom seventh inning Monday night. The right-hander, pitching in his first big-league game since August 13, 2017, served up a grand slam to Nick Castellanos with two outs in the inning as the Cincinnati Reds scored 10 unanswered runs over two innings to roll past the Phillies, 12-4, at Great American Ballpark.
Feliz hurt himself in the inning by hitting Jesse Winker to load the bases with two outs, bringing Castellanos to the plate.
Castellanos had three hits and seven RBIs on the night.
Feliz, 33, was the American League rookie of the year and an All-Star when he saved 40 games for Texas in 2010. He saved 32 games in 2011 then battled years of arm problems while bouncing through several different organizations. He had pitched well for the Phillies’ Triple A team before being called up on Friday.
Now, he has experienced the quintessential Phillies’ bullpen moment.
He has blown a save.
If you’re keeping track of the carnage at home, the Phillies have now blown seven saves in their last six games and lead the majors with 21.
The Phillies’ record for blown saves is 25 by the 2004 club.
This team will break that record at some point. Maybe even by the All-Star break.
After Feliz’ implosion in the seventh, Enyel De Los Santos committed an error and gave up six runs in the eighth.
Finally, Joe Girardi waved the white flag and infielder Nick Maton was called on to get the final out in the eighth.
And to think, the night started off well with Alec Bohm knocking in a couple of runs, Ronald Torreyes knocking in one, Luke Williams making a nice base running play and the Phillies building a 4-2 lead in the middle innings.
Rookie lefty Bailey Falter was a standout. He came in after Spencer Howard’s 2 1/3 inning cameo (four hits, a walk, two runs) and delivered four innings of one-run ball before handing a two-run lead to Feliz with a runner on base and one out in the seventh.
The loss dropped the Phillies to 36-40 and 15-26 on the road. They return home to Citizens Bank Park, where they are 21-14, on Tuesday night to begin a three-game series against the Miami Marlins.
It’s no secret that the Marlins give the Phillies fits. They were a big reason the Phillies missed the playoffs for a ninth-straight season last year and they have won four of seven meetings between the two clubs this year. Two of those Marlins’ wins against the Phillies this season have come with Trevor Rogers on the mound. The lefty has allowed just two earned runs in 12 2/3 innings in those starts. Vince Velasquez will start for the Phillies on Tuesday night against Miami.
The Marlins have lost nine of their last 13 games so the Phillies might be catching them at a good time. Then again, it is the Marlins, and they have a way of getting up to play the Phillies, who have also lost nine of their last 13.