Cool Tim Lincecum photo here from Flickr user Glenn~
The Phillies looked like they were pretty well in the driver’s seat going into the 5th inning on this game, Sunday afternoon in San Francisco. Cole Hamels was moving along quite well until big trouble happened in the 5th inning. San Fran had two runners on and had Freddy Sanchez coming up to bat and then he promptly doubled on Cole Hamels in the Giants half of the 5th inning.
Sanchez is one of the best clutch hitters in the game. I think Charlie Manuel should have walked him in this situation and loaded the bases but he rarely makes that managerial move, and the Phillies paid for that. He should know how good a hitter Sanchez is and made a move to counteract that at bat against Sanchez. Manuel has to become more of a manager and not let the game play on, as he can help out in certain situations like that. The Sanchez hit was the turning point of this game.
Cole Hamels didn’t have his change up working into the 5th inning, and he just stayed with it until he was out of the game. An error by Ryan Howard added to the misfortune of Hamels' afternoon by throwing a ball way over Hamels head while Cole was covering first base. Ryan Howard has had a terrible last few games, he is a hot and cold player, and right now, Howard is extremely cold. Ryan can’t hit a good lefty pitcher, it’s just as simple as that. His strikeouts and shoddy fielding are starting to show up really bad in my opinion. Cole Hamels didn’t seem to go to his fastball either when he really needed to throw it, is this an issue for Hamels?
It’s games like this that the Phillies could have been on the winning side today, but it was not to be and some how the Phils couldn’t put it all together on this Sunday in San Francisco. They must come home now and focus on a revived Colorado Rockies team starting on Tuesday night.