Well, it was nice thought, but ultimately, the Phillies could not sweep the Giants tonight. When the game started off with Cole Hamels giving up 3 runs in the first inning, some thought that maybe this was just the starting pitchers new style. Both pitchers in the first two games of the series gave up first inning runs too, but the Phillies came back to win those games. Not tonight…
Hamels looked about as bad as we have seen him. He lasted only 5 innings, allowed 5 runs and looked like his pitch control was on vacation for the day. Knowing that he has gotten little to no run support this year, giving up 3 runs in the first must have seemed like an insurmountable hole from which Hamels could not climb out.
On the other side, Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez wiped the infield dirt with Phillies batters. He allowed only 2 hit in 8 innings of work and both hits came off the bat of Shane Victorino, who also played well on defense.
No one else could touch him. Knowing that Sanchez leads the leagues in walks issued, one might think the Phillies batters would have been patient at the plate. But many players swung early and swung often…at bad pitches. Thus, 2 hits in 8 innings.
The offense did attempt a 9th inning rally, something that has been common with the Phillies lately. But although Mike Sweeney knocked in 2 runs to avoid the shut-out, the rally ended there and the Phils took the 5-2 loss. Here are a few more shots from the game:
The Braves lost today as well so the Phillies still sit 2.5 games back in the NL East and lead the Wild Card race over the Giants by 1 game. A 3-game series with the Nationals starts tomorrow at 7:05pm.
And as a side note, today’s game marked the 100th consecutive sell-out at Citizens Bank Park. Manager Charlie Manuel came out before the game to speak to the crowd and thank the fans for their support. After that, the players waved and tipped their caps to the crowd. The 45,449 people in attendance also marked the largest crowd of the 2010 season so far.
Phillies, you are welcome :O)
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography