The Phillies dropped their first series this past weekend, largely because the bats were as cold as the weather during the last two games.
Jamie Moyer giving up five runs before I had a chance to reach my seat in Saturday’s game sure didn’t help, but we’ve seen the Phils’ offense come back and put up runs in a hurry after being down before. In nine innings against Florida’s Ricky Nolasco, the only run they could muster was a cheapie homer by Jayson Werth, his first of the season. In yesterday’s game, no one crossed the plate against Nate Robertson. One run in eighteen innings won’t win you many ballgames.
It’s disappointing because many observers dismissed the Phillies blistering start as ‘only playing the Nationals and the Astros’. A series win against the Fish would have done a lot to quiet those observers. Instead, the Phillies now cling to a half-game lead over the Marlins in the NL East, and face another tough divisional opponent in the Braves starting Tuesday.
The silver lining in the cloud of defeat has to be Cole Hamels. Finally, a pitcher not named Roy lasted beyond the seventh-inning stretch. In eight innings of work, Cole would surrender two earned runs on seven hits, but he also struck out eight and walked none, dropping his ERA to a respectable 3.86. A few more starts like that, and we can hopefully retire the “Princess” nickname for good. Unfortunately, the offense didn’t bail him out yesterday as they did in his two previous starts.
Things look gloomy for our boys in the red pinstripes right now. Kyle Kendrick and his ZOMG! ERA of 17.47 face phenoms Tommy Hanson and Jason Heyward tomorrow in Atlanta, and JA Happ may be on the shelf for his next scheduled start due to elbow-soreness. But it’s April. There’s plenty of baseball left to be played, and the bats will come around. Remember that last year after twelve games, the Phillies posted a record of 6-6 while the Marlins started the season at 11-1. We all know who was left standing at season’s end.