Wednesday, August 13, 2008
While Hamels hasn't been dominating in every start since early July, it was his second straight outing where he deserved to earn a victory. Anytime a pitcher allows only two runs and has an offense like the Phillies backing them up, a win should nearly be automatic. Unfortunately, nothing has come easy for the Phillie offense lately.
Not even a line-up shake-up helped the offense tonight. Charlie Manuel switched things up by dropping Jimmy Rollins to third in the order and batting Shane Victorino lead-off and Chase Utley second, but it had little affect on the outcome. Utley did homer, but there was no one on base, and Rollins and Victorino combined for just one hit. Victorino also left the game with back stiffness, which doesn't help things when someone like So Taguchi replaces him.
The bullpen also didn't help Hamels out tonight, allowing a run in both the 8th and 9th innings to blow the game. The usually reliable Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero came up small as the Dodgers won on a walk-off single by Andre Ethier.
The Phillies continue their west coast trip with another game against the Dodgers tomorrow night. Prior to this road swing, I said that the Phillies needed to split the games in L.A. and take 2 of 3 against the Padres for it to be a successful trip. Well, after dropping the first two to the Dodgers, that means the Phils have some tough work ahead of them. With the Mets within one game of first place, the Phillies had better shape up quick.