Cole Hamels has fallen victim to low run support since the first day he put on Phillies pinstripes. Tonight, against the Oakland Athletics, was no different. Hamels threw eight innings and allowed only two runs on eight hits while striking out five.
Hamels gave up a solo home run to Adam Rosales in the third inning and an RBI single to Scott Sizemore in the fourth for the only runs allowed in the game. It was the second start in a row that Hamles allowed two runs but still took the loss. He was on the losing end of 2-0 ball game in Seattle last Sunday. This was Hamels sixth straight start where he allowed two runs or less. He has only three wins in those six games.
The offense seemed in a daze for the majority of the night tonight mustering only three hits off Oakland starter Trevor Cahill. Cahill does have a lot of movement on all his pitches and did a good job keeping the Phillies hitters off balance.
Charlie Manuel will have lots to discuss in the locker room after tonight’s game. Shane Victorino took his time and gingerly threw a ball into the infield with Coco Crisp tagging up from second base. Crisp would score on Sizemore’s single later in the inning. Crisp would probably have scored anyways, but for Victorino to have a brain fart like that is very uncommon.
Domonic Brown will most likely get an earful as well. Brown failed to run out a ground ball that would have been closer had he been running straight out the box. Manuel, who has benched Jimmy Rollins in the past for lack of hustle, kept Brown in the game. Brown would ground into a game ending double play as the Phillies lost at home for the first time in the last nine games 4-1.
As Phillies fans, we know how notorious this team is at getting streaky hot and streaky cold. After the 1-0 walk off win last night you could sense a cooling off of a team who had won 14 of their last 22 games. They still have the best record in the majors at 48-30 but the Braves are slowly creeping up the standings.
Reliever Michael Stutes, who has been brilliant all season, came in to pitch the ninth with an attempt to keep it close. Stutes would end up throwing 22 pitches in the inning allowing two hits and two more runs to create a three run cushion for the A’s.
The whole team has been struggling offensively with no one hitting above the .300 mark. Raul Ibanez and Domonic Brown are a combined 25 for 144 (.173) since the beginning of June. Two of the eight hits in the past two games have come from the bench. Ross Gload hit his Major League leading 12th pinch hit tonight. Michael Martinez, who pinch ran for Gload and moved to third on a wild pitch, was stranded after Chase Utley grounded out to first to end the inning.
Going cold is not a good way to welcome the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday. Hopefully the bats can come alive for the rubber match tomorrow when Roy Halladay takes the hill.