It’s hard to get much lower than the Phillies got down in Atlanta.

Even with a 7-3 win on Monday night, it was that win, that actually lead to the Phillies losing the middle two games of their four-game series with the Braves.

Not only did the Phillies lose two games to a Braves team that has under performed so far this season, and not only did Philadelphia fall to 5-11 against N.L. East foes, they now sit at just 20-24 overall and eight games behind the New York Mets in the division.

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Tuesday loss was the same way Philadelphia has lost over and over the past few years – a blown save after coming back to take a ninth inning lead.

Twisting the knife even more, Philadelphia had staved off defeat in the ninth inning on Bryce Harper's two-out, two-run homer, giving the Phillies a one-run lead in the top of the 9th.

However, because manager Joe Girardi went to his closer Corey Knebel to close out a four-run lead on Monday, he wasn't available to help the team on Tuesday, since he also threw 23 pitches on Sunday night.

Using Knebel in that spot showed that Girardi doesn't trust any of his other relievers, not even with a four run lead and because of that, he wasted an opportunity to win the series in Atlanta against the Braves with tonight's game still to play.

Knebel needed just nine pitches to dispose of the Braves on Monday, and has been the Phillies most consistent bullpen arm in 2022.  However, he wasn't available on Tuesday and the team elected to go with Nick Nelson in the ninth inning, after he tossed a scoreless eighth inning.

The result was predictable, a blown save and another Phillies loss after entering the ninth inning with a lead. Instead of maybe taking game two of the series, and earning a feel good series win heading into the weekend set with the Mets, they find themselves eight games back, losers of two out of three to their N.L. East rivals.

What the Phillies could have and should have done on Monday is maybe what they did on Tuesday.  Holding a four-run lead, see if one of your other guys could pitch with that type of cushion, if not, you have bigger problems than losing a game on Tuesday night in May.

A big league capable arm, should be able to get three outs, before they give up four runs, but hey - if not Knebel was there as a safety net, just in case. Instead, Girardi  broke the glass immediately and went right to his most trusted weapon in case of emergency, making him unavailable to help out on Tuesday and the Phillies lost because of it.

The Phillies are now back on the road for a three-game series with against the Mets at Citi Field. Entering Friday’s series opener, the Phillies could be nine games behind the Mets, meaning a sweep by the Mets could land Philadelphia as far back as 12 games by Memorial Day.

This may have all been avoided had they trusted their guys on Monday. This may have been avoided had they managed their bullpen better on Tuesday.

The Phillies have better talent, have spent more money, but are getting similar results and it doesn't seem to be getting fixed anytime soon.

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