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.