Johan Santana decided to bring his best stuff for the Phillies. Cole Hamels didn’t quite respond.
The Mets’ lefty ace went seven innings, striking out 10 while only giving up four hits. He did surrender three earned runs, but two of them were runners that scored off a pitch by Phillie-killer Aaron Heilman. Hamels, meanwhile, went seven and struck out four, giving up four earned runs on five hits while walking three. Santana walked none.
The Phillies were baffled by Santana’s electric stuff â€” the ace brought it Friday night. The Phils offense resembled a pull-happy group that tried to bust some runs, but ultimately fell short. As for Hamels, Hollywood failed to live up to his lofty goals â€” if he’s going to be the best pitcher in the Major Leagues (like he says he’ll be), he has to do better than three walks and four earned over seven against a shaky Mets lineup.
Of course, David Wright had Hamels’ number. The elite third basemen went 4-for-4, a homer short of the cycle. The Phillies answer, Chase Utley, hit a home run off Santana, but with no help from the top of the order, his work was without any real result. Greg Dobbs’ eighth inning home run off Heilman brought the crowd into the game, but Jenkins’ flail to center field took the air out.
And buried far under this game was the atrocious play of our fabled slugger, Ryan Howard. He continued to slump, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He also committed a terrible error in the ninth inning, letting in an insurance run. Another bobbled ball allowed a run to score easily â€” Howard is clearly a liability in all facets of the game, and it’s time to bench the slugger for at least a game.
Overall, it was an uninspired loss by the Phillies, who never really showed to match up to a superior Santana, who mowed down the listless offense all night.