This one was a big loss.
The Phillies held a 2-1 lead into the eighth inning, but Cole Hamels let up a solo home run. Innings later, the Phils finally lost to the Marlins, 3-2. They lost the series, are now tied for first place yet again and could be sitting in third place very soon.
Ryan Howard got the good guys out to a good start with an RBI single and RBI double, but that’s all they’d get. The black hole seemed expansive â€” Geoff Jenkins went 0-for-3 and made bad key outs; Pedro Feliz went 0-for-5; Carlos Ruiz went 1-for-4. Later potential clutch moments in the game led to nothing. They didn’t do enough.
Then there’s Hamels, who â€” yes, he deserves better run support â€” gave up another two solo homers in this one. Is it wrong to bash Hamels for giving up two runs? I don’t know. But I do know an ace needs to buckle down and prevent the opposition from scoring anything.
That said, Hamels was very good. He went eight and only gave up four hits. He struck out seven.
Once the bullpen reached Clay Condrey, the Marlins took advantage, loading the bases off him and scoring on a Jorge Cantu (who else?) single in the 12th.
But really, this one is on the offense and its inability to score a few runs for their ace.
“Our situational hitting is absolutely terrible. Off the chart, really. The guys might be trying too hard, and it seems like when you remind them to make sure you get [the runner] over, all of a sudden, they don’t do it.”
That’s Charlie Manuel, finally saying out loud they can’t hit in situations. Something we’ve known for a long time. A game like this makes you seething mad, but it also makes you see the team for what it really is â€” a paper contender.
Associated Press photo