In what could have been Cole Hamels’ final start in front of the home crowd, he waged a war with one of the best pitchers in the NL, Matt Cain. The two pitched, and hit, their way to a draw. However, Jonathan Papelbon again failed in a non-save situation, allowing the Giants to prevail 6-5 in 10 innings.
-Jonathan Papelbon is really, really good at times. And then it’s like the switch goes off. The switch was on in the ninth as he retired the Giants in order. In the 10th, he fell apart and allowed San Fran to score on a bunt single by Gregor Blanco that plated Melky Cabrera. He would load the bases, but eventually worked his way out of it. Too late, damage done. And any thought you had of the Phillies making the playoffs – if you still had any – should be gone.
-Charlie Manuel basically just said “eff this, I’m running with my horses today.” They didn’t get it done, but you can’t fault him for going that route.
HAMELS v. CAIN – ON THE MOUND
-Yes, the two homered off each other. But the pitching matchup wasn’t as advertised. Hamels and Cain each allowed five runs and both gave up three homers to the opposition. I assumed this would be a pitchers duel, as I’m sure many other did – but it was not to be.
-Hamels: – 7 2/3 innings, 10 hits, five runs, three walks, six strikeouts, three HR. The last time he allowed three homers in a game was June 26, 2010 against Toronto. Hamels threw 128 pitches, the fourth highest total in the majors this season. Only Johan Santana in his no-hitter (134), Edinson Volquez (133), and Justin Verlander (131) have higher totals this year. He was unable to finish the eighth, but did get a stand ovation as he walked off the field. Will it be his last start in Philadelphia? I don’t think so; but you never know.
-Cain: eight innings, five hits, five runs two walks, four strikeouts. Didn’t think the Phillies would get him for three homers in this one. And if you did think the Phillies had a chance to do some damage against him, you probably would have thought the Phils would win.
HOMERS ARE FUN UNLESS THEY HAPPEN TO YOU
-Cole Hamels and Matt Cain were attempting to outdo each other at every turn. They both homered, becoming the first pitchers to homer off each other in the same game since Kevin Millwood & Denny Stark on 5/18/02, according to Jayson Stark. Also from Stark: the last time a Phillies pitcher hit a homer and allowed one to a pitcher in the same game: 8/18/25, Johnny Couch vs. Dolf Luque (Reds). Remember those two?
Last pitchers to homer off each other in same inning: Kevin Gross and Fernando Valenzulea, 5/14/90 in the 3rd inning. As always, great stuff from Stark.
-Also getting in on the fun was Chase Utley in the first inning and Buster Posey in the third innings. Utley launched his into the second deck in right field on a 3-2 fastball from Cain. It’s the old swing we know and love.Chase owns Cain in his career, too. He’s now 8-for-2- against him with 4 homers.
-How about that Ryan Howard? He launched a three-run bomb to right field in the sixth off Cain. Man, it’s good to see that swing again. And he’s at about 80-85 percent of himself.
-Melky Cabrera got in on the fun in the top of the eighth, off Hamels. He tied it at five with a homer to left field. That pretty much sums up the season as the Phillies cannot hold leads very well.