The Phillies seem to have a mystifying inability to hit bad Pirates pitching. This is not a new phenomenon–for instance, on April 8, 2004, Ryan Vogelsong, who won 10 games over parts of 8 major league seasons and owns a career ERA of 5.89, gave up a single earned run over 7 innings, throwing 98 pitches, 71 of them for strikes, in a 6-2 win over a superior Phillies team. That trend continued this evening, as the Phillies managed only 2 runs off Daniel McCutchen, who came into the game with an shoe-size ERA of 11.00. Five relievers finished the job for the Bucs, including Evan Meek, who pitched two scoreless innings and, it is rumored, will inherit the Earth.
McCutchen gave up two runs, only one of the earned, in 5 1/3 innings, as the Phillies offense continued its sabbatical. One run came on Wilson Valdez’s third-inning solo homer, a Paris Gun shot that cleared the 410 sign in center. The other came on a throwing error in the fifth.
Cole Hamels, for his part, pitched well enough to win, going 7 innings and allowing one run each in the second, third, and fourth innings. Hamels struck out eight and allowed only five hits and two walks, one of each to Jose Tabata, who scored the Pirates’ first run and singled in Adam LaRoche the eventual game-winner in the fourth inning.
The loss dropped Hamels to 6-7 on the season, and left the Phillies two games behind the
first-place tie between the Mets and Braves Mets and another two behind the Braves. They are now 11-18 at PNC Park and 1-3 on their 7-game Post-Industrial Wasteland Road Trip to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
Tomorrow night, Jamie Moyer will try to right the ship tomorrow evening against righty Ross Ohlendorf, who comes into the game with an 0-6 record and, if recent trends are any indication, will probably throw a four-hit shutout.