The month of June has not been very friendly to the Phillies, and it would be more of the same today as they lost a second straight game to the Marlins 3-2.
COLE GOES FISHING
– So far this season, the Miami Marlins have owned Cole Hamels. In his first two starts against them, Hamels posted an 0-2 record and a 6.00 ERA. Today he looked more like himself.
– In the first inning, Giancarlo Stanton hit a missile out to left field, and it looked like Hamels may be in for another tough outing against the Fish. It was frustrating because the homer came with two outs and the bases empty. Stanton would once again get Hamels in the third with two outs when he doubled to score Jose Reyes and give the Marlins the lead for good.
– Hamels pitched great today. He didn’t have a dominant outing with a ton of strikeouts (5 Ks), but he allowed three runs over seven innings. With a modest offensive effort, those type of numbers from your starter are almost always good for a win. Unfortunately, the offense wasn’t up to the task this afternoon.
OFFENSE GONE FISHIN’
– Coming into today’s game, Mark Buehrle had an ERA north of 5.50 when facing the Phillies this season. He was a pitcher who the Phillies had hit around in beating him both times he faced them. It seemed as though all the Phils would have to do was show up and do their thing, and a victory would be in the cards. Unfortunately, they didn’t show up. It was a lethargic, hapless effort from the bats. It wasn’t as though they wasted a lot of opportunities either. They left six men on base, but, despite that number, they really didn’t seem to threaten Buehrle all that much. It seemed to me like they weren’t in the game mentally and just mailed it in. That’s the first time I’ve gotten that impression from this team in a long, long time. They’d score a run on a sacrifice fly from Shane Victorino and a Hunter Pence home run. They’d strand the tying run on second base in the ninth inning. Not great.
THEY DO REALIZE IT’S THE MARLINS, RIGHT?
– Coming into this series with the Phillies, the Marlins had dropped 17 of their last 21 games. They were in a free fall in the standings. It seemed as though the Phillies could really gain some momentum if they could take two of three or even sweep the series. Now they’re trying to avoid a sweep.
– The Phillies are now 9-19 in the month of June. No matter what happens the rest of the way, this month could very well be the one that defines their season. If they get hot after the All Star break and end up missing the playoffs by a game or two, this month will stand out more than any other.
– The Phillies are now just 10-16 against the N.L. East this year. It’s cliche, but good baseball teams win against their division. It’s something the team has done the last five years, and it’s something they’ll need to start doing again if they want to make a run at this thing.
– During the game today, Jim Salisbury tweeted that the Phillies and Orioles are in serious discussions regarding Jim Thome. As of now, nothing is imminent. But it makes sense for the Phillies to deal Thome, so this something to monitor over the next few days.
– The Phillies are now a season-high eight games under .500. It’s the furthest back in the standings they’ve been since June 2006.