The Phillies started the week playing some of their best baseball of the season. Heading west, they took the momentum from a 5-2 home-stand with them as they traveled to Arizona, to play the lowly Diamondbacks.
The road trip started well as the Phillies took the first two from the D-Backs. On Monday, the Phils touched up starting pitcher, Jon Garland for six runs in the win. Phillies starter Jaime Moyer pitched a scoreless six plus innings and had the young D-Backs line-up looking confused.
On Tuesday, Cole Hamels out- dueled starter and Cy Young Award front-runner Dan Haren, giving up just one run in eight innings of work. The Phils bats were able to wear Haren down, forcing him to throw too many pitches, too soon. Haren lasted just five innings, but not before the Phils clawed together three runs. Although closer Brad Lidge made it interesting in the ninth, an insurance run added in the seventh proved to be just enough for the Phillies to take the series win.
The Phils finished the series with a loss, but the clubhouse was abuzz heading into to San Francisco.
The Phillies learned before the game that they had acquired both pitcher Cliff Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco from the Cleveland Indians, forgoing a trade with the Blue Jays for starting pitcher, Roy Halladay.
The Phightin’s dropped the opener with the Giants after starter Rodrigo Lopez lasted only four innings and sealed his demotion to the bullpen. Through four innings, Lopez allowed seven runs(three earned) on eight hits. The bats never could find a groove and after getting shut out in their previous game, could only muster two runs.
Friday night ushered in the start of the Cliff Lee era in Philadelphia. the former reigning Cy Young Award winner did not disappoint.
Lee pitched a gem, a complete game, giving up only one run en-route to a 5-1 win for his first in Phillies red. Lee struck out six and walked only two but was just as impressive at the plate. He went 2-4 with a run scored, highlighted by his first career double off the wall in left. He also took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
On Saturday, the Giants threw out a Cy Young winner of their own. Youngster Tim Lincecum wasn’t perfect, but he was good enough to scatter seven Phillies hits as he threw eight shut-out innings. The Phils line-up had their chances, but couldn’t produce a timely hit and the Giants blanked the Phils 2-0.
On Sunday, Phillies starter Cole Hamels came unraveled and the Phillies dropped their third of four to the Giants thus finishing 3-4 on their trip.
Hamels was superb until he faced his counter-part, Barry Zito, with two outs in the fifth. Zito reached on a single and the wheels fell off the wagon. Hamels went on to allow seven runs in five innings pitched.
The Phils bats went cold. Jimmy Rollins had an awful week at the dish batting only .226. Carlos Ruiz took a doughnut in ten at bats and his partner, Paul Bako wasn’t much better. The Phillies lacked any form of production from their 7-8 hitters all week and it showed.
The middle of the line-up, while hitting well for average, left too many runners on base and were anemic in all of their losses.
The starting pitching had a good week, but Hamels is still an enigma.
Hamels pitched eight strong innings against a bad Arizona club, but was shelled against a good Giants team. It begs the question, which Cole can we count on as we head into the dog days of summer?
3-4 is not a terrible road trip and despite the losing record, the Phillies maintain a five game lead over the Marlins in the division. The losses however weren’t pretty.
A little home cooking should do them good.