Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cole-lossal bullpen meltdown for Phillies

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Stop me if you've heard this one before: the Phillies wasted a Cole Hamels start. Hamels cruised against the Cubs for 7 innings, striking out 6 batters and giving up only 1 run. With the Phillies up 4-1, Hamels was relieved in the 8th inning by Ryan Madson, and the floodgates opened for the Cubs. Madsen failed to get an out, giving up a homer and a pair of hits before he gave way to Chad Durbin. Durbin proceeded to load the bases and then give up a grand slam to Aramis Ramirez, giving the Cubs a 6-4 lead that they held on to for the win.

It was a disappointing loss for the Phils, who not only wasted Hamels' start, but they also missed an opportunity to jump back into a tie for first place with the Mets. It's also a bad sign for the Phillies that the one constant that they have had all year, a solid bullpen, is starting to fail them at a critical time in the year. Whether it's that they've been overworked or not, the bullpen simply hasn't been as dominating over the last few weeks.

The Phillies have three more games with the Cubs, let's hope they haven't wasted their best chance at knocking off the best team in the NL.

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