The Phils got swept in 4 games against the Astros earlier this season and were looking for revenge last night. The problem is, they need to look a lot harder. In a horrible 2-8 loss, Cole Hamels allowed 6 runs in 6 2/3 innings. 5 runs were scored by Houston in the 7th inning with 2 outs and NO ONE on base. Tyler Walker gave up 2 runs of his own, plus allowed 2 for Hamels that same inning with runners he left on base.
The offense did no better. Their only 2 runs came on a sac fly and a balk call. And all this against a pitcher that they should have beat the crap out of; Yorman Bazardo was with the Phillies in Spring Training and had a 9.55 ERA coming into last night’s game. So, the Phillies knew exactly what to expect from him and still only managed 2 hits off Bazardo.
The only real highlight of the game was when Paul Bako blocked home plate as Lance Berkman tried to score. Berkman missed the plate and Bako ran him down on the dirt track behind home plate to tag him out.
Ok, I lied; 1 more highlight: JC Romero returned to the Phillies last night after a long DL stint with a torn muscle in his forearm. JC – we missed you! SO glad to see Romero healthy again. He pitched 1 inning, allowing 2 hits and no runs. Romero will need to shake some rust off, but overall, he looked great. Welcome back!
With the loss last night and a win by the Braves, the magic number is STILL at 3 and the division lead, once at 8.5 games, has dwindled down to 4. Time to panic yet? Well, do not push that button just yet…however, if the Phillies do not win tonight, go right ahead. The pitcher they will face today, Wilton Lopez, is making his first major league start. Again, the Phillies should beat the pants off this guy…”should” being the critical word.
JA Happ will start for the Phillies; Happ will need to be spectacular and show the rest of this pitching staff how it should be done! Happ and Joe Blanton are the only 2 Phillies starters to have recorded wins in the last 8 games. The rest of the staff had better step up…fast! Best of luck to JA Happ tonight!