Joe Girardi is long gone from the Phillies, he paid with his job as the Phils couldn’t seem to play better during his final few games as manager. In a move that can be seen as protecting his own skin, Dave Dombrowski repeatedly responded to reporter’s requests if Joe’s job was safe in the two weeks before the firing, and he always said, yes he was safe. Well, so much for asking GM’s anything in baseball, you get the liar’s poker answer 90 percent of the time.Embed from Getty Images
Some of that is Dombrowski was starting to get some of the blame in print and social media for this Phillies team that we saw sinking to new lows, game after game. The combination of players was an error a lot of baseball writers were starting to tell their readers about. Take this Troy Renck tweet, for example, it shined the spotlight on the Phillies GM and team President:
#Phillies fire Girardi. Never gave them lift expected in his 3 years at helm. But this team’s problems are roster construction. They are worst defensive team in baseball and spent $$ by adding bad defenders this offseason. Also bullpen not effective. Awful combo https://t.co/s9xAM5F7bs&mdash; Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) June 3, 2022
Yes, the Phils promoted Rob Thomson, a long-time Joe Girardi ally and Yankees bench coach. Girardi wanted Thomson to take the interim manager’s job when Joe G was let go. The first night on the job, you would have thought Joe Girardi was still in the dugout if you didn’t know he was fired. Thomson ran the same lineup, same personnel but this time the team responded, and looked less mundane at the plate, and seemed to concentrate more on winning, which is exactly what the Phillies have done now for 3-games straight.
The Phils are looking to sweep a reeling Angels team today on Sunday, June 5, at Citizens Bank Park. It’s an anomaly that on the weekend that the two top managers in baseball that were favorites in Las Vegas to get fired first this year were brought together and it was Girardi who got the boot. The other manager is the manager of the Angels, Joe Maddon, but the Angels coming into Philly were still over .500 though, in the middle of what started out as an 8-game losing streak, that is now up to 10 for the Angels on Sunday morning before the start of today’s game vs. the Phillies.
So the firing of Joe Girardi seemed to light a fire under the Phillies offense for now. This team has scored 23 runs in the first three games of June, a pace that we haven’t seen from them for a couple of weeks since they romped in Seattle and Los Angeles.
Let’s see how long they can keep this going. Has this team had any changes that should point to this success? Seeing Girardi get fired has been a catalyst for them to play better so far. It’s the same team, the same players, but it’s a new type of focus from them. They have kept Mike Trout in check, in fact, he’s on his worse skid of not getting a hit in his career that happened here at Citizens Bank Park, and Shohei Ohtani has been kept down by the Phillies as well during this series so far.