The ending of Saturday’s Phillies – Royals game left everyone feeling upbeat and energized. Kevin Frandsen completed an unlikely come from behind win for the Phillies with a 9th inning, bases-clearing double. The Phillies hopped off the field with a 4-3 victory.
It was such a positive moment, you almost expected the Phillies to win on Sunday just on that momentum alone. But sadly, that did not happen.
Everyone has been asking what is wrong with Roy Halladay. Well, how about, what is wrong with Cole Hamels? This guy was picked as a front runner this year to maybe even win a Cy Young. And yet, his first 2 starts of the season were both awful.
Today, Hamels gave up 8 earned runs in only 5 2/3 innings. 4 of those runs came off the 1st grand slam Hamels has ever allowed. It was also a record-setting day for Billy Butler of the Royals with his 1st grand slam and a career high 7-RBI.
The Phillies offense did look like they were on fire at the start of the game, scoring 4 runs in the first inning.
But the bats went cold as James Shields found his groove and began mowing down Phillies hitters. And once Hamels was finally pulled, the bullpen did him no favors. Chad Durbin allowed 2 more runs to score (charged to Hamels) and Jeremy Horst gave up a run in the 8th as well.
Then in the 9th, the Phillies offense attempted a comeback for the second straight night, starting off down by a score of 4-9. The Phillies squeaked out 4 more runs and fell just one shy of completing the comeback as Erik Kratz struck out after a very good at-bat where he battled to stay alive.
But in the end, it is another loss, leaving the Phillies with a 2-4 record to start the season. This has not been the start anyone hoped for. The bullpen, supposedly a strong point, has been terrible. The starters have been shaky except for Cliff Lee and John Lannan. And the offense is streaky, just as it was last year.
So what is the cure for all that ails the Phillies? Hopefully, that is the New York Mets. They come to town Monday night for a 7:05pm start; Halladay will pitch.
Here is the Photo Album from Sunday’s game.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
The Phillies offense had plenty of chances again tonight to score runs; but just like last night, the bats took a nap and the Phillies could capitalize on opportunities. They even had the lead-off batter get on base in 6 out of 9 innings and still managed only 2 runs. Jimmy Rollins, still unable to find his swing, left 4 men on base; Chase Utley did the same, even after helping to salvage Game 1 yesterday with his 2-run homer.
The big blows came from Pedro Feliz and Greg Dobbs; Feliz – 6 left on; Dobbs – 4. As a team, the grand total of runners left on base was 11. That’s 22 total in 2 games. And in this one, the Phillies lose 4-2, tying up the series at one game apiece.
I cannot even begin to breakdown the offensive game for you here…it was like watching an episode of Mr. Bill. “Oh Nooo! I struck out again with a runner on third and 1 out!” Then the cartoon fist or steel iron emerges from above and squashes the Phillies hitters, just like poor Mr. Bill. Only difference is that watching the Phillies flounder wasn’t funny. When the biggest bang in your line-up on the day is Eric Bruntlett hitting a pinch hit home run in the 8th inning, you know you are having a VERY bad day. Can anyone even remember the last time Bruntlett hit a homer? Or even managed to hit the ball out of the infield, for that matter? Well, I looked it up. May 6th, 2008 – his last home run. He had 2 in the regular season.
And how about those errors tonight? “Oh Noooo! I missed the ball!” Hmmm…Jayson Werth forgot how to field for one minute, but it’s ok. He’ll be fine once they pry the heavy object off him that was apparently weighing him down. Another Mr. Bill moment. And Brett Myers did not have his best outing, but not his worst either. He pitched 7 innings and gave up 3 earned runs and 1 unearned on 7 hits and 3 walks. He certainly did not deserve the offensive spanking he got tonight. Guess they were all just mad at Brett for not hitting, as per AL rules, and bailing them out of a jam. James Shields of the Rays mystified the Phillies hitters and entertained everyone watching with his squat and twist look over to first base. Really, I have not seen a man use his back side in such a way since…well, Aaron Rowand. You can tell they are related J Wonder how Rowand feels about watching his cousin pitch in the World Series to his old team? A team he very well could have stayed with. Can you say “awkward?” Oh nooo!
Well, I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again; the Phillies need to move runners and hit with men on base if they are going to have a shot at winning this series. Before Saturday’s game in Philly, they had better figure out exactly how to get back to doing just that.
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