The Phillies celebrated their 100th straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park tonight boasting their largest attendance all year (45,449). Too bad the offense couldn’t provide any fireworks to get Cole Hamels (7-10, 3.51) a victory falling to the Giants 5-2 in the final game of this three game series. Now, Hamels might not have even deserved a win giving up a three spot in the first on his way to five innings, seven hits and five runs.
Hamels still hasn’t won a game since July 11. Although, he hasn’t been all that bad in that span. Before tonight his ERA in his last six starts was just 2.14. He has fallen victim to poor run support numerous times this season including two tough 1-0 losses.
Jonathan Sanchez (9-8, 3.47), on the other hand, pitched a great game to block the Phillies from completing the sweep and taking a three game lead in the wild card race. After tonight’s loss Philly is still a game ahead of the Giants for the WC and two and a half games behind the Braves for the NL East.
The lineup is almost back to normal with Chase Utley back from the DL. Charlie Manuel stuck him in the clean up spot tonight with Ryan Howard still out. He responded going 1 for 3 and now has three hits in his three games back.
The Phillies only had four hits tonight and could welcome Howard back by the end of the weekend. Friday he will head to Class A Lakewood to begin his rehab assignment and is scheduled to be at Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Saturday. With Howard back in the lineup, the Phillies will have their opening day roster together for the first time in a very long time.
Despite DL stays from Utley and Howard the Phillies have still won 20 out of their last 26 games and are 17-3 at home since July 8. Without Howard in the lineup, the Phightins have won 12 of 16 games.
This loss snapped the Phillies four game winning streak.