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Bullpen Blows Lead; Phils Lose 4-3

Cole Hamels can’t buy a win.

In a rare occurrence, the bullpen was handed the lead in the eighth inning and couldn’t hold it, as they gave up two runs in the final two frames to lose, 4-3. With the loss and Mets’ and Marlins’ wins, the Phils’ lead over the Mets in the NL East is just a game, with a 1.5 game lead over the Fish.

Hamels pitched well in seven innings, dodging trouble while striking out seven. He had the lead, but Chad Durbin wasn’t on his game, allowing a run on a sacrifice fly. JC Romero hit Russell Martin, and one out later, the catcher scored on an Andre Ethier single. Game over.

The offense could’ve given Hamels more support, however. They only managed six hits, and no hitter had more than one. Chase Utley hit his 30th home run of the season, and Pat Burrell added a sac fly, but that was it. Hamels actually had the other Phils RBI. Is it the offense just gets too comfortable when Hamels is out there?

Whatever the case, it’s a bad loss. They had the lead all game, and the usually reliable ‘pen squandered one. Give it up to the Dodgers offense, which is much more formidable than in the past. When you see Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake in the middle of that order, you can’t help but sigh that the Phils couldn’t add something — anything – to help the offense at the deadline.

Associated Press photo

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