Reds vs. Phillies: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 03: The national anthem before the start of the Philadelphia Phillies game against the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 03: The national anthem before the start of the Philadelphia Phillies game against the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Brandon Kintzler #19 of the Philadelphia Phillies hands the ball to manager Joe Girardi #25 as he is taken out of the game.
MIAMI, FLORIDA – MAY 24: Brandon Kintzler #19 of the Philadelphia Phillies hands the ball to manager Joe Girardi #25 as he is taken out of the game. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Phillies’ bridge to closer Hector Neris has collapsed.

It’s no secret why the Phillies find themselves three games under .500 as they reach Memorial Day. The Philadephia bullpen has blown 11 of their 24 save opportunities on the season. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers have failed to protect a lead more often than the Phillies.

Setup man Brandon Kintzler has been a disaster. The right-hander has allowed 14 earned runs and 30 men to reach base via a hit or base on balls in only 16.1 innings of work. When the Phillies inked him to a free-agent deal in February, I’m sure a 7.71 ERA and 1.84 WHIP is not the kind of relief they had in mind.

Once the Phillies successfully get the ball to closer Hector Neris, they’re in great shape. The 32-year-old right-hander has nine saves in 11 opportunities compiling a 1.99 ERA to go along with 27 strikeouts in 22.2 frames.

Luckily for the Phillies, they play in the National League East, where only the New York Mets have a winning record. However, it’s not only been the bullpen that has been an issue, as the offense has been less than spectacular as well.

To call the Phillies, a free-swinging bunch would be an understatement. They lead the senior circuit, fanning 536 times, and the .307 team OBP is evidence the Philadelphia offense has no intention of working the count.

Philadelphia has three players, Rhys Hoskins, Alec Bohm, and Andrew McCutchen, who has already whiffed at least 56 times this season. But we’re willing to give Hoskins a pass, as he leads the club in both homers (11) and RBIs (31). All-Star catcher JT Realmuto has been excellent at the plate producing an impressive .287/.391/.470 slash line with a 143 OPS+ mark.