For the 3rd time in a week, the Phillies hit a spectacular late home run to lose

If only the Phillies could turn some of those spectacular shots into wins.

For the third time in seven games, the Phillies hit a home run in the eighth inning or later, which tied the game or put them ahead.

They lost all three.

After Corey Knebel allowed a homerun in the ninth inning for the second time in about 20 hours, Kyle Schwarber took it back with a solo shot tying the game on the second pitch from the bottom of the ninth.

The game went to extra innings, where Giants catcher Curt Casali hit a two-run game-winning shot from Andrew Bellatti. The 5-4 loss was the fourth in a row for the struggling Phillies, who are 21-28 and the furthest they have been below .500 since the final day of the 2017 season.

It was a very long time ago. That was before Gabe Kapler, who shook hands with his Giants players after beating Joe Girardi’s Phils in the first of three games this week.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been a tough month for me, I just had two bad outings in a row,” Knebel said. “Two solo circuits, that’s all.”

Knebel hasn’t allowed an earned run in nine of his first 10 appearances this season. Since then, he’s allowed seven earned runs in 10⅔ innings, and obviously the timing of those runs has been devastating.

Girardi, who gave Knebel a vote of confidence as the closer earlier in the day, reiterated that he will always be the ninth-round guy.

“It’s tough but you know, everyone in this room has been through tough times in life,” Girardi said. “And you come to the other side or you wouldn’t be in this room. Sometimes what you’re going through seems like the worst thing you’ve ever been through and if you look back you can probably pinpoint a moment in your life you’ve been through this They just gotta keep doing their job, keep fixing this.

“It’s gonna turn around, it’s okay. I believe in them. I believe in Knebel, I believe in everyone in this room. We’ve been through a grueling two and a half weeks and we’ve had some really tough losses. They’ll respond. “

As has often been the case this season, the Phillies were unable to play a full game. This afternoon they pitched well for 8⅔ innings and played clean defensively but didn’t hit. Sure, there are promising signs like Nick Castellanos and Schwarber looking to be coming out of their meltdowns, but a team that’s been in 10½ Memorial Day games in Eastern Newfoundland needs to start stacking up the wins and the wins. Phils couldn’t do it. .

The Phillies hit three solo home runs against Giants starter Logan Webb. Castellanos hit one in the second inning, Rhys Hoskins went deep in the fourth and Schwarber in the ninth. Webb was aiming for a complete match when Schwarber joined him. He still pitched very well overall with 10 strikeouts and gave the Phillies no chance with a runner in scoring position.

Kyle Gibson started for the Phillies and dodged the barrel of the bat until Wilmer Flores’ two-run homer in the sixth inning tied the game. Gibson entered the sixth just 68 shots away but needed 27 to complete his final frame.

Gibson allowed two runs in six innings on three hits, one walk and two batters hit. He operated his slider and caused a multitude of jams and softly hit balls at the end of the bat.

Gibson has an MPM of 3.83. He’s allowed two or fewer runs in seven of 10 starts this season and five of his last six.

“It’s probably the best team I’ve ever been on,” Gibson said when asked why he was so sure things would change. “I’ve been on teams that have gone to the playoffs and this is the best team I’ve ever been on. We’ve got too many good players and too many good pitchers for it to go wrong. C that’s the basis of my belief and I think that’s why everyone here believes in each other, because when you look around you have a lot of really good players and players who have done a lot in their career.

“I know it’s cliché and I know everyone’s waiting, but sometimes that’s how baseball is. We haven’t lived up to expectations so far, but it’s a season of 162 matches.”

The three-game series between the Phillies and Giants continues at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. Ranger Suarez (4-3, 4.74) appears to be bouncing back from very stressful short back-to-back outings. Right-hander Jakob Junis (2-1, 2.76) goes for San Francisco.

Junis, coming off a six-inning win over the Mets, has been extremely homerun-prone throughout his six-year career with the fourth-highest home run rate (1.6 per nine innings) among starters. MLB assets. The Phillies desperately need a win on Tuesday.

“Nobody likes losing a lead and nobody likes losing late. It seems amplified,” Gibson said. “But to lose late you have to be in the game and play really well. We’ve done that for the most part against really good teams. It just hasn’t bounced our way.

“Where we see this team going is that at some point we could go down 2-0 in a playoff series. What are you going to do? Are you going to sulk and say you haven’t answered the expectations for the series so you might as well give up? No you’re going to play the next game and try to make it 2-1. That’s all we can do at this point just keep playing game by game and keep going trust each other.

Oh, what this team’s fanbase would give even to watch a playoff series come to 2-0…

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