121 pitches â€” a few too many.
Cole Hamels pitched fantastic between the second and seventh innings. He came into the eighth inning with over 110 pitches and quickly surrendered a sure double by Ryan Braun. Then Prince Fielder stepped up, and the guy who already hit a homer off Hamels nailed his second of the night, the game winner. The Phils lost 5-4.
Hamels shouldn’t have been out there in the eighth. JC Romero and Tom Gordon were both rested enough to go in the eighth and ninth, respectively. Hamels was spent and ended the seventh on a positive note. His ERA shot up to 2.75 despite striking out a season-high 11.
The Phils got offense again from Chase Utley and Pat Burrell; the bash brothers struck their 10th and 8th homers of the year, respectively. Greg Dobbs added his second blast of the year to round out the scoring, but it was Fielder who stole the show. The Brewers beefy first baseman is coming alive.
On the other side, however, the Phils’ beefy first baseman continues to downright stink. Ryan Howard went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. The Phils couldn’t take advantage of a few chances with runners on base; instead, they settled for more home runs. Jayson Werth really came up short â€” he was caught trying to steal third base with nobody out in the seventh; in the ninth he struck out with So Taguchi at third with one out. Poor, poor, poor.
Still, one wonders if the Phils would’ve won if Manuel pointed to his bullpen when he should have.