Wednesday, April 23, 2008

No comeback this time: Phillies fall to Brewers

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
The National League leader in come-from-behind wins, the Phillies, failed to execute a ninth inning rally and fell to the Brewers 5-4. The Brewers were powered by recent vegetarian Prince Fielder's two home runs and 4 RBI's. Seems that a lack of meat hasn't taken anything away from his power.

The Phillies almost looked like they might pull out another late victory when So Taguchi walked, then stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error with only one out, but Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz failed to get Taguchi home to tie the game.

Cole Hamels has always had a penchant for giving up the long ball, and it killed him again tonight. He pitched 7 innings and gave up eight hits, but did manage 11 strikeouts. Charlie Manuel made a questionable move in keeping Hamels in for the start of the 8th inning when he was already over 100 pitches. With the Phils up 4-3, Hamels gave up the lead when Ryan Braun led off the inning with a double and then Fielder tagged his second homer of the game. Hamels was then quickly removed from the game but the damage had already been done. Manuel, famous for his gut decisions, made a big mistake and left Hamels out there too long.

Offensively, the Phillies produced all their runs through homers. Chase Utley, who has to be the front-runner for NL MVP, hit his 7th home run in his last 7 games. Greg Dobbs and Pat Burrell also added home runs. The Phillies continue to live by the home run, which is a disturbing trend. What happens when Utley and Burrell cool off and the Phillies have to produce runs the old fashioned way? Perhaps by then Ryan Howard (0 for 4, 2 strikeouts) will snap out of his funk.

The Phillies wrap up their short series with the Brewers tomorrow afternoon. Brewers ace Ben Sheets will face Old Man Moyer as the up and down Phillies look to avoid getting swept in Milwaukee right after they swept Colorado earlier in the week.

Highlights from tonight's game, plus a look at tomorrow's pitching match-up, via Comcast SportsNet:

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