In the Phillies most recent showing of Groundhog Day, the Phillies once again surrendered two first-inning runs, this time, at the hands of starter Cole Hamels.
In yet another unimpressive showing from the once strong starting pitching, Hamels lasted just three innings, giving up three runs in the loss. Hamels was not lifted from the contest due to fatigue, as he had thrown only 47 pitches. It’s likely manager Charlie Manuel opted to give Hamels a bit more rest, heading into the postseason. Although Hamels allowed only three hits, the Marlins did hit the ball hard, and were able to push across three runs off of the lefty. Hamels record dropped to 10-11, a losing record for the young ace who is less than a year removed from two postseason MVP awards.
The bullpen, getting plenty of work in this game, allowed only one run in six innings, off of a Dan Uggla R.B.I. double off of Ryan Madson. The four runs proved to be just too much for the Phillies to handle as they dropped their third straight.
Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth provided the offensive fireworks, each finishing with a long-ball in the game. For Howard, it was his 45th of the season. Jayson Werth’s shot extended his career best 36th bomb of the year and put him within one of 100 R.B.I.’s on the year.
Chase Utley was 0-2 before being pulled for Miguel Cairo in the fourth inning as a defensive substitution. So far Utley is hitless in this current homestand and is showing major signs of wearing down. A couple more days off should do him some good.
The Phillies clinched at least a number two seed when St. Louis lost to the Brewers earlier in the day. They will face either the Dodgers or the Rockies in the first-round.