Joe Girardi after Phillies firing: 'I just pray that they get better'

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Girardi after Phillies firing: 'I just pray that they get better' originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Fired by the Phillies Friday morning, Joe Girardi still called in for his weekly spot on MLB Network Radio and discussed the change the Phils made at manager.

Girardi, 132-141 in three seasons, is out and bench coach Rob Thomson will be the interim manager for the rest of 2022.

"There's a number of reasons we didn't win," Girardi said of the 22-29 Phillies, who trail the Mets by 12 games in the NL East and trail eight teams in the wild-card race.

"We gave too many extra outs that probably cost us four or five games, maybe even more. I think at times our bullpen struggled. We had some guys that I think have much better stuff and potential than they've pitched to. And some guys got off to slow starts offensively and that happens. I think you can overcome one thing, maybe two, but sometimes when it's more than that, it's somewhat difficult."

With a contract that was set to expire after the season, there was always a chance Girardi would be fired in 2022 if the Phillies disappointed. They've done more than disappoint through 51 games, losing a slew of winnable games because of either bad defense, shaky bullpen work, a cold lineup or multiple factors at once.

Girardi arrived in Philadelphia with a reputation for being a good handler of bullpens but the Phillies had baseball's worst bullpen in 2020, were toward the bottom of the league in 2021 and barely improved early this season. Some of that was because of roster construction, some because of decision-making.

"I can look back on this last week where we were 3-7," Girardi said, "I think realistically we should have been 7-3. Well, that's going to fall on me because we weren't and I understand that."

"I just pray that they get better and that they get to the playoffs."

The Phillies have gone through four different managers -- Ryne Sandberg, Pete Mackanin, Gabe Kapler and Girardi -- since firing Charlie Manuel late in the 2013 season. None has lasted more than two-plus seasons.

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