Cole Hamels pitched what looked to be one of the best games he has pitched all year in Chicago last night. He mowed down batters at will and stymied the Cubs potent offense and should have had the win last night.
The normally great bullpen of the Phillies have taken a few hard hits in the last two nights, as when the game was handed over to them, the bullpen let the team down for the second night in a row. Ryan Madson, didn't get a blown save in this one but he was the culprit as he gave up a homerun and left two men on base as Chad Durbin came into the game. Durbin walked the first batter, and promptly gave up a grand slam to the next batter and ruined what looked to be a game that the Phillies would win on game 1 of this series in Chicago.
This was Durbin's 5th blown save of the year, and that number is creeping up higher as the days go on. Durbin has been terrible under pressure in the last two weeks, he had two blown saves against the Dodgers in LA when the Dodgers ended up sweeping the Phillies, and last night's blown save adds up to 3 games he blew for the Phillies in the last two weeks. He still has a 2.19 era, but the giving up of three crucial games concerns the Fightin Phils blog very much! Durbin is an 8 year veteran, perhaps he's been pitching above his talents early in the year, because he is showing his true colors now.
There has been reports that the Phillies landed Matt Stairs, I am not too excited about this except for the leftie bat he would add to the Phillies pinch hit department. There may not be a need for him after this week, if the Phillies can't win these clutch games, they won't even be in the playoffs.
Rich - Fightin Phillies blog