Phils Continue to Sputter Towards the Finish Line

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, September 28, 2009 11:48 PM | Comments: 74
2009 Recaps, Posts

The Phillies dropped another important game down the stretch.  This was not another blown save, nor did a Phillies comeback  fall short – they straight up lost.  Cole Hamels pitched poorly and the offense was anemic in front of their increasingly frustrated home town fans.

Hamels cruised through the first three innings, allowing just a single hit after Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley manufactured a run in the bottom of the first.  He coughed up a run in the fourth and two more in the sixth before the Astros really took it to him.  With two outs in the seventh, Michael Bourne singled and stole second.  A Miguel Tejada RBI single and intentional walk later and Hamels gave way to Tyler Walker.  Walker allowed another three runs to score in the inning and with an 8-2 score, the game was out of reach.

Astros’ starter, Yorman Bazardo – whom the Phillies released in Spring Training – kept the Phils’ bats in-check despite allowing a run on a balk.  Chase Utley saw only 8 pitches the entire night as the zombie lineup mustered just four hits.

So yes, the Phillies magic number rests at three with six games to play.  Yes, the Braves won (again).  And yes, the Phillies have now lost 5 of their past 7 games.  Talks of 1964 have surfaced, albeit prematurely.  But let’s focus on some positives.

The Phillies activated J.C. Romero from the disabled list today and he threw a scoreless eighth while allowing two hits.  With barely a whiff of pressure, Brad Lidge pitched the ninth without allowing a run.  He did hit a batter though.  Chan Ho Park and Brett Myers both had successful rehab assignments throwing on the side prior to the game.

If you’re questioning whether or not the Phillies will make the playoffs, you’re overreacting…but not by much.

Avatar of Brian Michael

About Brian Michael

Brian Michael has written 1163 articles on Phillies Nation.

Brian is the CEO of Phillies Nation which he founded in July of 2004.

  • Posts: 0 george55

    another epic loss, at the Bank, with Hamels! Disgusting. The phillies are now fighting for their lives just to get in as a wild card; forget the Division. The Fish are playing spoilers by ALLOWING Atlanta to win the games, C’mon 4-0? Anyway, Atlanta much more deserving.
    And Tyler giving up a deuce again. His nickname “Deuce Tyler” because I allow 2 runs in every short , 1 inning appearance. Disgraceful.
    How bad can a WS team be? They let down the fans, the city, themselves….have they no shame, no guilt? I think it’s to the point where the pitching is afraid to take the mound knowing the obvious results and the batters and base running are timid at the plate.

    Go phillies!

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    This was written from a braves fan on espn. so calm down everyone.

    bigbravesfan1959 wrote:
    you guys are to funny. you have a 4 game lead with 6 to play and think you are goning to lose it. you have the division wrapped up. congrats on that by the way. you don’t have a mets collaspe in your future that i can see, you have to good of a team for that. my bravos are playing better than have in years and i am happy to see it, winning the wildcard would be great, but even then we some help from the brew crew and the blue crew. all we can do is keep winning and hope foe the other teams to lose. so keep your faith in your team and you will be there.

  • Posts: 0 p

    I think the President from “Independence Day” needs to make a trip to the locker room.

    That speech always gets me fired up…

  • Posts: 0 jt

    what did ibanez do to get the jeltz i didn’t watch the game?i though hamels should of gotten it he’s the guy thats supposed to come out when the teams struggling and pitch a gem…him and cliff lee have both struggled…i don’t know if it’s rich dubee or them but something is wrong.

  • Posts: 0 jt

    i just hope we can get a good chan ho park and brett myers back very soon because condrey and walker aren’t guy that come in to pitch you out of gems,they pitch when your up or down by alot like lidge does now because this team needs all the help they can get in that pen…tomorrow the phils face some kid making his first career start they better come out fired up or somebody better light a fire under their behinds to get em goin.

  • Posts: 0 jt

    *jams instead of gems.

  • Posts: 0 Mike D.

    Has anyone noticed that this collapse has come without Ruiz calling the games? Lee’s worst start was with Brad Hoover, I think Ruiz normally catches Hamels…damn. Bako’s okay, but I’d bet money that he’s tired. We need Chooch back or game over.

    The Braves will probably win out. They have extremely favorable pitching match-ups, the exception being today’s (Tuesday’s) Johnson-Hudson match-up. That’s the most “lose-able” game for the Braves, but my gut’s telling me that they won’t, and Johnson’s starts against ATL (good-but-not-quite-good-enough losses) back up my gut feeling.

    The Phils? Well, in theory, the pitching match-ups should favor us for the rest of the series, but upon looking at our results against these starters this season, you’ll find that we have not fared well against any of them (not to mention that we suddenly have no idea how to hit bad pitching because Adam Eaton isn’t here to give us a clinical every five days).

    Being generous, I say the Phils can do it with a win Tuesday and two wins on Saturday and Sunday. That’s assuming that Happ steps up and beats Lopez Tuesday and Anibal Sanchez Sunday, and assuming that Hamels beats Volstad Saturday. If that happens, the Phillies finish 93-69, and the Braves finish 92-70. That’s also assuming no Brad Lidge. But realistically…I see the Phillies finishing 91-71, and the Braves finishing 92-70. I will guarantee a division if Happ and Lee step up. But that requires Lee stepping up, and the sports guy jinxed us by saying that he hoped the trade backfires on us because we wouldn’t part with Drabek for Halladay (he thinks that such thinking was idiotic).

    My gut tells me 93-69. But I don’t know. My brain tells me 91-71. I can guarantee you a Braves finish of 92-70, though. Less would be welcome.

    If Ruiz comes back any later than Wednesday, we are done.

  • [...] from the AP game recap, to Philly.com’s Bill Conlin,  to  a downplayed version on the Phillies Nation blog to other more or less cloaked versions throughout blogosphere.  And it doesn’t help that [...]

  • Posts: 0 bob

    “On this team we fight for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch……..AND THATS THE FU@*IN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING AND LOSING!”

  • Posts: 0 bob

    And who cares about Atlanta? Yes they are playing out of their minds, but if the Phillies take care of business we do not have to worry about it.

    3 MORE! Get it done, lets rest up and hit our stride and defend our WFC!

  • Posts: 0 gm-carson

    List of pitchers the Phils have recently faced (#’s before the game)
    From The Zo Zone:
    *Monday vs. Houston: Yorman Bazardo (0-2, 9.50)
    * Sunday in Milwaukee: Dave Bush (5-8, 6.22 ERA)
    * Saturday in Milwaukee: Braden Looper (13-7, 5.12 ERA)
    * Friday in Milwaukee: Manny Parra (10-10, 6.42 ERA)
    * Thursday in Milwaukee: Jeff Suppan (7-10, 4.76 ERA)
    * Wednesday in Florida: Rick VandenHurk (2-2, 4.24 ERA)
    * Tuesday in Florida: Anibal Sanchez (2-7, 4.50 ERA)

  • Posts: 0 Brian of CO

    Why did Raul get the Jeltz you ask? because Hamels was on the mound. Hamels has had a free pass this season, and it continues. He has had some really good outings, but not as many as he has had bad outings. 6 ER in 6.2 innings and no Jeltz? LOL. Had moyer given up 4 runs in 6 innings he would have had the Jeltz with no question. The problem I see is IF the Phillies get it done. Will they? Honestly with how they are playing lately, how can anyone be so sure. They are playing HORRIBLY. Its not even funny. We got swept by the Stros the last time we played them, and it they play anything like they did last night, they will get swept again. Its not over reacting by any stretch of the imagination. They need to beat teams they are supposed to beat. They should be able to sweep the Stros EASILY, but if they play like that again this season, they will sweep us again. Manuel needs to flip out. This is pathetic. Am I calling for his head, not exactly, but Manuel’s lack of taking care of the main problem (Lidge) is killing this team. The team is basically playing like “who cares, no matter how we play Manuel will never take us out because he is loyal.” In seasons past Manuel would bench players for being late, or not hustling. Now, not so much. Whats with the change? Was Jimy Williams pulling the strings on the Phils instead of Manuel. Can the Phillies get er done? Of course, every one knows they can, but will they. Personally I have my doubts with this HORRIBLE slump. Sorry folks. I hope they prove me wrong. Tonight is without a shadow of a doubt a must win.

  • Posts: 0 Mary Jo STUMPO

    HEY Brian…
    I wish I had written what you wrote… Last night was difficult to watch as I screamed at them…just praying for a miracle
    Mary Jo

  • Posts: 0 Morris Buttermaker

    Cole Hamels for the Jeltz? Next thing you know we might start criticizing Chase Utley. Let’s not get on that slippery slope.

  • Posts: 0 cas

    How likely is it, considering that the Rockies finish with Colorado and LA, that we could end up the wild card if the Braves win the division?

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    This is a disaster, like THE only guy who has stayed healthy and pitched well for most of the year is Joe Blanton. I FREAKING KNEW they were going to need one or two more bullpen arms and I freaking said it ALL SEASON and they did NOTHING about it. I was even supporting LIdge all the way up until the last debacle and still thought they needed a guy with closing experience to go to if Lidge failed. This is on Ruben, Charlie, and the players. They are in COMPLETE cruising/coasting mode and they can’t figure out why they are losing games every which way. They could very well collapse and fail to make the playoffs. But theyre too talented to do that so Id be shocked.

    If they fail to make the playoffs they need to go and COMPLETELY reconstruct the bullpen from almost scratch. Id get rid of most of those guys simply because theyve been used and abused for 2 full seasons now and they are showing the lasting effects. They need fresh guys. The rotation is mostly fine they just need to perform better. Id look for more consistent hitting out of Feliz’s slot and find an improvement over him. And a new closer obviously.

    Lidge will be traded because you can’t keep a closer around once hes lost his job if he makes that kind of money.

    NOW, they MAY – if they can turn it around here – end up playing well in the last few games in order to get in and get on a roll again. Thats my primary hope with this team and the last one that im clinging onto. This is very sad.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Oh, and at the end of the season they need to sign Joe Blanton and Shane Victorino to 3-4 year contract extensions. Blanton just takes the ball every turn and does his job and keeps his mouth shut. I really repsect the way he goes about his job. THey need to keep him around for a while and have him be the guy that is that mid-rotation anchor that everyteam needs for the next few years.


    I don’t want to see the name Tyler Walker on this site again unless it’s next to the words, released or did not make the post season roster! There was a reason this guy was available!

  • Posts: 0 LH

    Conversation between Chase and Ryan during the bottom of the eighth last night:

    R- Wow we really suck tonight.
    R- Why don’t you hit?
    C- I’ll hit, why don’t you hit?
    R- I don’t want to peak and burn out like Braves will. You have to time it right
    C- Yea, but we suck against a AAA pitcher

    R- Yea, but if we hit well tonight then suck against a good pitcher tomorrow, man we’ll feel unprepared for the post season against a good pitcher

    C- Yea, but if we suck tomorrow
    R- But if we win tomorrow, who cares about a Bizzaro or Bastardo, and we be starting our peak
    C- Wilton Lopez is pitching tomorrow night and he never won a game in six that he pitched, and never got past the 4th inning. We have Brain Moehler Wednesday and he won once in ten decisions. And Thursday we have Felipe Paulino who was in ten straight loses.
    R- Do you think Ed Wade is trying to help us out?
    C- Yea, but we still suck tonight
    R- Yea, I know

    …Stay tune for exciting conversation while we wait for the spark that will ignited the bench and pitching like last season

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    I think we get swept by Houston. They play so well against us. Pence becomes ARod against us for some reason.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Chill people… obviously, this isn’t going the way we all envisioned, but the Phillies can and will get the job done.

    The one thing that I find really annoying is the fans at CBP who scream and claps way too much for their players when we’re losing 8-2 in the 8th. Like, seriously? Are we becoming “soft” fans and babying our players a bit too much? I’m not saying “boo”, but c’mon are you really watching the game for Christ’s sake??

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    We’ve definitely gone soft on them, and so has the Manger and the General Manager. They stuck by Lidge longer than i did, and i stuck by him too long. they simply did not want to face the reality that theyre going to have to replace their closer so soon when they thought they had someone locked in for year. Just babying the heck out of all of these guys, which is why they are jut going out there and A$$ING around like a team thats already eliminiated from the playoffs and has nothing to play for – that is what they look like now.

    I mean, regardless of what happens the rest of this season Brad Lidge is going to get shipped out of town one way or another. They wont spend big free agent money on another closer so they will do it via trade, and the best closer available via trade is Bobby Jenks. I predict they will trade a package of prospects to the White Sox for Jenks, and then sign a secondary setup man with closing experience like Fernando Rodney or Rafael Soriano. Antonio Bastardo will become a major league reliever and he will be fine in that role replacing Scott Eyre. I assume theyll let Romero come back for a full season, but other than that theyre going to have to improve over guys like Moyer, Condrey, Durbin, and Tyler Walker. Id even bring back Chan Ho Park to pitch out of the pen. They will have to reconstruct their bullpen big time int he offseason because the lack of innings their starters gave them last year and the beginning of this year has just destroyed these guys.

  • Posts: 0 Stuart

    I am not really that afraid or nervous about not making the post season. What I am worried about is doing nothing in the playoffs. all of these expectations are on us, we have a team that could win another wfc but they just are not performing. I want to win in the post season. Making it and doing nothing is not what I want. But we will make it.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Chase is my favorite player. I was booing him the other night. We have to. He is playing like crap. He forgot how to hit.

  • Posts: 0 Stuart

    Jeff, I think anyone at the games. Needs to boo everyone who doesnt perform aka almost the entire team right now. Light a fire under them.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    The crowd rattled Bazardo to balk in a run so props to the crowd. Booing is overrated. Do you really think booing will improve their play?

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    I mad for alot of reasons. There focus is lost. Lets face it, this division stinks. Yes the braves are playing well now. They are also playing the Nats and Florida. Ruben brought us no bench help or bullpen help. When the rosters expanded we did crap. Charlie kept putting Lidge out to fail. How many games did that cost us. Why didnt they put him in the minors for a few weeks. We could of gone after Hoffman. This teams hitting is up and down. Werth goes through a months stretch of looking like he does not belong in baseball. Cole Hamels is a diva. Just go out there and pitch your ass off. My god. Lee gets clobbered against good hitting teams. No hitting, no bullpen, no closer, equals out of the playoffs in the first round, IF WE MAKE IT.

  • Posts: 0 Stuart

    Yes I do think booing will help. I think these players are not in panic mode. they are just playing sloppy and dont care. I think they all think they have this wrapped up. If people boo maybe they will understand that their fans are getting restless. one thing i do believe. philly will play for their fans.

  • Posts: 0 Rich

    Everyone keeps using the initials WFC…what does that mean?

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    The Phillies are 90-66 … we already know that they are just about the streakiest team ever … and lately they’ve been on a major cold streak .. which means that their HOT STREAK is right around the corner

    We’ll be HOT by this weekend, heading into the postseason, when it matters most !!!

  • Posts: 0 DHall

    I have no problem criticizing Hamels. He has pitched terrible this year. Outside of a few decent starts here at the end, he has not been the ace he claims to be. The thing that has upset me the most are his comments about pitching better here at the end because the games mean something. Well, guess what? They ALL mean something. Plus, we don’t pay him to pitch for 1 month or 3 months or 5 months. We pay Cole to pitch for 6 months. It’s bad enough that he didn’t come to camp ready and in shape to pitch. Now he’s basically saying he wasn’t motivated to pitch until September. What a candy-ass and a slacker.

  • Posts: 0 Manny


  • Posts: 0 bob

    We are going to be laughing (at least the rational fans) about this little after this division is clinched.

    The Phils are not playing good baseball but they have not been terrible, let some of these other streches. They lost 2 of 3 to Florida, split with the Brewers and lost the first of 4 to Houston.

    They also can’t help that Atlanta has won 14 of 16 against terrible teams and mind you not that much pressure. Everything that Atlanta does is a bonus for them. The Phillies are and will ultimately be the better team in 2009 because of their body of work over 162 games.

    We have issues, I’m worried about injuries. But this team has a will and resolve unlike anything that most of us have seen from a Philadelphia Phillies team. They will be in a good spot to repeat, so everyone needs to calm down. Be frustrated with lack of focus and sloppy play and please boo that, but also have faith in these guys.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Are people really still bitching about Cole Hamels.. after he threw like 750 innings last year.. including 5 of the best postseason starts in baseball history ???

    I’m really starting to hate the fact that everyone and their mother is now a HUGE Phillies fan.. and instead of being happy for what this group accomplished last year (and praying for something similar this year) .. people are BITCHING that we didn’t win the World Series before the playoffs even start.

    That is all.

  • Posts: 0 Duffie_D

    Holy freaking crap. Chill the heck out guys. The Braves won’t win out, because this is baseball and teams lose games in baseball. The Phils will probably end up splitting with Houston and we may have the division locked up before the Marlins series. Momentum is only as good as your next day’s starting pitcher, and we’ve got the RotY on the mound next.

    We’ll win the division. We’ll make it to the NLCS if the Rockies hold onto the Wild Card. We’ll make it back to the WS if we win the NLDS because the Cards are playing just as poorly as we are right now and I still don’t believe in the Dodgers’ pitching rotation. The team we really need to worry about is the Yankees.

  • Posts: 0 Morris Buttermaker

    I am still thrilled about about last year; it was great.

    My problem is Hamels and his lame ass efforts and quotes about how he will pitch well when it matters. Well last night’s game really mattered and he gave up 6 runs. He really has not pitched that well this year. Yet he still acts like he is the ace. I have see that horrible Comcast commercial with him 20 times a day. And then he cries about not making enough money. Get over yourself, pretty boy. Maybe if he pitched as well as he made excuses, they would be willing to give him the big money.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Couldn’t agree more with that last post, Don.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Like I said earlier. Our best hope, which I am clinging to, is for the team to get in trouble like this and then pull together and turn it around (team meeting, closed doors, no managers no media type stuff) to make the playoffs and be on a roll while theyre doing it like last year. They just really need to get on a roll again. BUT it has to happen BEFORE the playoffs. You cant sleepwalk into the playoffs and then expect to turn it on like Hamels and many other players seem to think. If you sleepwalk into the playoffs they will be eliminated by WHOEVER they play in the first round because thats how sports is. They need to start playing well TODAY and get into a groove by the time the weekend is out.

  • Posts: 0 cas

    Message to Cole Hamels: Last night COUNTED!!! That being said, thank you Bob and Duffie for calming me down a little and giving me some hope. Listening to WIP this morning helped, too. They’re not even panicking yet–they’re waiting till tomorrow (if the MN is still 3)! I think Hamels will be fine again next season–you know that old story about the season after a pitcher throws a whole lot more pitches than he’s been used to….the body has to adjust. Anyone here old enough to remember Steve Carlton in 1973 after his 27-10 season?

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    How does Hamels cry about not making enough money? … and he currently does make a lot of money.. so that isn’t any kind of issue at all

    and.. didn’t he pitch LIGHTS OUT in our most important games of the past 25 years??

    Maybe he was throwing extra fastballs last night.. trying to work on something heading into the postseason.. Maybe we should relax a little and just enjoy the fact that the Phillies are probably going to win the NL EAST for the 3rd consecutive season ..

    If people would have said last year.. Cole Hamels will dominate the 2008 Postseason, and win the World Series.. but in 2009 he will be mediocore 10-10, 4.25 ERA … every single one of us would have taken that.. so stop crying, and start supporting your team .. you FRONT RUNNING BASTARDS

  • Posts: 0 Harry Kalas

    BREAKING NEWS! It’s hard to clinch folks.. Angles clinched last nite, but are 5-5 in their last ten….Boston…4-6 including 4 in a row(I know it’s the Yanks, but the Sox should not have got swept)…Sox are a lock..but you get the point..Dodgers…Magic# 1..5-5 in last ten..lost 2 straight to Pirates..including 11-1! yesterday and a.. blown save on Sunday….Colorado..6-4…But they were bailed put by horrible Card’s baserunning on Sunday…A team that has already clinched…But is only 5-5 in their last ten…San Fran….was in it but went 4-6 are done…Dido with the Marlins…Fish are 5-5(thanks again Lidge)…and are done(and depressed)… So we’ll just have to grind it out. Remember. Misery loves company!…The Mets of 2007/2008 lost not only due to the BP. Their entire off. scored 2 runs or less some crazy number of times like 20 down the stretch in both years combined… The Phils look weary and sometimes the home team looses that 1st game back after a long road trip as a result. I’ll reserve my red flag for tonite’s game. Loss again tonite and we got real problem here…. On the Bright side if the Braves pass the Rockies…the Rockies would’ve had to loose at least three times…Which would only help us clinch a post berth even more. I have confidence we’ll bounce back tonite..

  • Posts: 0 Val Veeta

    Wow I just had the strangest deja vu – these comments seem eerily similar to the ones posted on MetsBlog in September 07 and 08.

  • Posts: 0 joedad

    Rockies magig number is 5
    Phils magic number is 3
    Braves magic number is X

  • Posts: 0 Harry Kalas

    Nah, “Living Val Veeta” The Phils are the Defending Champs of 2008. The 2007 Mets entered that year as the team that lost game 7 at home to a low 80′s winning games ball club. Remember the classic quote “We’re so good. Sometimes we get bored.” Huh? The Mets entered 2008 as the greastest Chicken Little choke artist in MLB “regular season” since Sports Center first aired in 1980… Big differences…. The Phillies are winning the 2009 N.L. East…. The Mets should change their new stadium from Citifield to “Life after People.” Lunch break over, back to work for me.

  • Posts: 0 Harry Kalas

    The Mets Magic# is -942….

  • Posts: 0 Linda Kasabian

    Paging Dr. Kevorkian . . . .

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Your wrong Don. These players get paid lots of money each year to perform. Yes, Cole had a great season last year and did great in the post season. That was last year. This is this year. He is getting paid alot. Great pitchers have great years more then one season. Cole did not come to camp ready, he said there is a switch. Screw that. You go out and pitch. Last year they did what they were getting paid to do. WIN. Thats over with. Schilling, Clemons, Maddux, The Unit, Pedro, etc had more then one good season.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Jeff… you don’t think that Hamels throwing WAY more innings last year than he ever has before, had an effect on his arm this season?

    He did what it took to get us a World Series title last year.. and in doing so, he wore out his arm for this season .. Thank you Cole Hamels !!!

    I really appreciate you winning us a World Series!

    He’s like 25 years old.. pretty sure he has LOTS of good seasons left.. and I’m also pretty sure that Schilling, Clemons, Maddux, The Unit, Pedro, etc.. didn’t come close to having the postseason success that Hamels did at that stage of their careers .. feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.


  • Posts: 0 j reed

    “no curveball” Cole again…the past two starts…hardly a yakker. His was really coming along with it and it seemed to make a difference.

    Players even great ones have off years. Some players have great seasons but are not career wise great players. Which one is Hamels. it’s his 3rd year….a little hard to say if he falls into either category.

  • Posts: 0 Bob Kahn

    Calm down people! The Phils are not imploding they are just on a little down streak.
    Odds that they will win three of the next 6 games = 60%
    Odds that the Braves will win all their six games = 20%

    Wake me when our lead is down to 2 games.

Leave a Comment

>> Create a new Phillies Nation account.
>> Already registered with Phillies Nation? Log in here.
>> Comment without logging in:

Please ensure your comments comply with our Comment Policy.