This was a very disappointing loss tonight for the Phillies. A win would have put them in a tie for 1st place; instead, they are now 2 games back with only 19 games to go. And you figured with Cole Hamels pitching, they had a good shot at leaving NY with a sweep. But, Hamels apparently does not handle pressure too well. It started going bad right from the first inning, even though the Phillies jumped ahead with a 1-0 lead. Hamels pitches to David Wright, Chris Coste is called for catcher’s interference on what should have been an out; but instead, Wright gets 1st base. Now there are 2 men on base and Charlie Manuel, upset over the call, gets himself tossed from the game. Obviously, he made a big deal of it because he knew Cole was upset and probably just wanted to show his pitcher that he was willing to stand up for him so that maybe, Cole would calm down and take care of business.
So, did Cole rise to the occasion? Nope. He gave up a single to Carlos Beltran that scored 1 run; Wright went to third base on the hit and was called safe my the umpire, even though Pedro Feliz tagged him out – the replay showed the ump blew the call. Next, Hamels gave up another single to Carlos Delgado which scored 2 more runs, one of which was Wright who should not even have been on base. Later, in both the 3rd and 5th innings, Hamels would give up solo homers to Delgado. Now they are down, 5-2. Hamels left after the 5th inning; final stats, 9 hits surrendered and 4 earned runs. Ugly. It looked like Cole allowed himself to get upset over the Wright debacles’ and he just couldn’t get control of his emotions. It was downhill from there.
Add to this, the Phillies scored only 2 runs off of Johan Santana before he exited in the 8th inning. Normally, this is not so bad considering who they were facing; but with Hamels totally off his game, it turns into a very long night for the Phillies. The only player who looked like he had any gas left in him after the day game was Ryan Howard. He accounted for both Phillies runs; one he drove in on a single in the 1st and the other was a solo homer in the 3rd. Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz and Jayson Werth each had one hit apiece, all off Santana. In the 9th, Shane Victorino and Matt Stairs each had hits which combined to score one run, but that was IT for the offense. Done. 7 hits total. I am so ready to pull my hair out!
Now the Phillies have to face the Marlins for 3 games, then the Brewers for 4. And the Mets? Their schedule is like a vacation…a day off, 2 against the last place Nationals, another day off, then the Braves for 3 games. And then, it just repeats! Nats again for FOUR games! And the Braves again for 3! Merry Christmas New York! The Phillies are in big, big trouble…
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