After a disastrous trip to Cleveland two weeks ago, the Phillies could have exacted revenge with a quick two-game sweep. Instead, they were blown out on Wednesday afternoon, losing 10-4 to the Indians. Starter Cole Hamels was rocked and the bullpen followed suit.
-After six consecutive starts throwing six innings or more and allowing three runs or less, Hamels was rocked by the Indians in the series finale. He allowed five runs on six hits in five innings and labored from the start. His record is now 1-6.
-His pitch count was an issue from the get-go, reaching 51 pitches through just two innings. His fastball is also a problem. Going into Wednesday’s game with Cleveland, Hamels’ 4-seam fastball had been getting tagged at a .330 clip. The Indians hit several hard hit fastballs off him in this start, including Mike Aviles’ home run and Jason Kipnis’ double. Mark Reynolds doubled on a cutter that scored two runs and Nick Swisher hit a two-run shot in the fifth on it, something Hamels has shied away from more recently. However, his change up and occasional curveball are still fooling hitters as much as ever.
-With the fastball, the location is certainly lacking. Hamels is walking guys at a ridiculous rate, so clearly something is up. Matt Gelb tweeted some speculation that perhaps the shoulder ailment he had over the winter is affecting him. Of course, no one from the Phillies, Hamels included, has mentioned it. But keep that one nearby.
-The bullpen struggled again today. Chad Durbin has to be on a short leash. He got the first two men out, then walked the pitcher Cory Kluber and gave up a single to the next batter Drew Stubbs. Durbin then gave way to Jeremy Horst, who allowed two runs to score on a hard-hit single up the middle. Horst can’t seem to string good games together, either.
-Phillippe Aumont got through his inning with a double-play, but Raul Valdes got tagged for three runs in his inning of work. Just when you think the pen is turning a corner they allow the game to get out of reach.
PHILS STRUGGLE WITH KLUBER
-Just call him Kluber Lang. Corey Kluber is a pitcher the Phillies have never seen before. He also entered play Wednesday with a 5.64 ERA. And yet he’s another middling pitcher who skates by. You’d think that because the Phillies have not seen him, they’d allow themselves to take some pitches and see what the guys has. Not so. Again they swing away instead of making the pitcher work. Kluber went six innings, allowing three runs and striking out five.
-Jimmy Rollins kept it close with a two-run double in the fifth inning, scoring John Mayberry Jr. and Carlos Ruiz. Rollins has been struggling to stay near .250 recently, but he smashed a rope down the line and finished the day 2-for-3 with three RBI.
-The middle of the order was a big problem today. Utley, Young, Howard, Young, and Brown combined to go 2-for-19, with both hits going to Delmon.