Thursday, October 08, 2009

Too little too late, Phillies throw everything in on 5-4 loss

         Maybe the lead singer of the Mr Greenegenes will start Game 3 ?

IMG_0015   Cole Hamels had a lot of his mind today. His wife was about to give birth at any moment, and he was starting Game 2 of the NLDS game with the Phillies and the Rockies. Talk about a stressful day! Well, he didn’t do all that bad considering. Hamels kept the Rockies in check for only 1 run for the first three innings of the game. The Phillies offense was in Rip Van Winkle mode again for the start of this game. They also were that way offensively yesterday until pitcher Cliff Lee got a hit and then stole a base. The Phillies offense woke up after Lee stole his base, and never looked back yesterday. Today though it was a very slow start through the first 5 innings when the Phillies didn’t score any runs in the first five frames, and only had four scattered hits behind the pitching of Hamels. Every time the Phillies had a runner on base, it seemed someone would ground into a double play to end any threat.

           Cole Hamels sailed into the 4th inning again with no run support, and the Rockies delivered a home run off of Yorvit Torrealba’s bat scoring Todd Helton also who had earlier singled to center. Nothing to panic about then but in the 5th the Rockies got another run in on a sacrifice fly scoring a runner from third. All this by the Rockies and still no offense to speak of by the Phils in the 5th. The Phillies haven’t really shown much support for Hamels in a lot of his starts. It’s just strange that it has worked out this way for Hamels who didn’t really have that bad of a start with all things being considered in my opinion. I would put more of the blame on the ineffective Phillies offense, than the runs that Cole gave up. Although the Phillies were close to making some noise at some points during the early part of the game, the fact remains that they didn't. This even took the fans out of the game and left the Park like a silent tomb for half of the game.

           Fast forward to the Phillies home sixth and then the offense got going a little with 3 runs being scored by the Phils to roar back 4-3 at that point in the game. Charlie Manuel took out all his weapons and was prepared to use them today. Like a gun fighter on a drunken spree, Manuel put Joe Blanton into the game for the sixth inning, Blanton got touched for a double down into the left field corner in the 7th by Ryan Spilbourgh, on a ball that Raul Ibanez couldn’t reach. The next batter in the 7th tapped the ball in the direction of Blanton and the throw to third was late leaving runners at first and third until Manuel came out again to the mound and surprise, surprise, brought out JA Happ to pitch. Hey, Charlie, put that bottle down, you do know your using all of your starters now, and this isn’t Game 5. Manuel pulled out all of his tricks today but it wouldn’t be enough as Happ got injured by the very next batter, Seth Smith, with a ball that was hit and went off of Happ’s knee. Happ was pulled when the bases were loaded and replaced with a reliever finally, Scott Eyre. Eyre came into this very rough spot and only gave up one run from the bases loaded with Blanton getting charged with it.

               The score was 5-3 until the Phillies 8th in which Jason Werth got a solid home run to right center and it was a shame that no one was on base so the game could have been tied, but that was the way it ended today 5-4. The Phillies did pose a threat in the bottom of the 9th with two runners on and 2 outs, Shane Victorino couldn't come up with a hit and that ended the Phillies hopes of a comeback today.

                 The Phillies didn’t want to open this door for the Rockies, but now it’s open and there’s nothing you can do about it except go out and give your all to win in Colorado now for the Phillies. The strange thing is at this time there is no starting pitcher named for the Phillies for Game 3 this Saturday night in Denver and the actions of Charlie Manuel today using up his starters in relief roles defies regular sense when it comes to having fresh starters that you want to pitch a game for you. The Phillies still have Kendrick, and Martinez, and even Blanton and Happ say they could some back and pitch a Game 3. It’s Charlies call now, it was his call today and if the Phillies would have won this one he would have been a genius in the minds of some but now his moves of today are appearing to be desperate and possibly risky as the Phils head out West to face the Rockies in a very cold climate. 


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