After a comeback win propelled by Kevin Frandsen’s walkoff bases-clearing double Saturday night, the Phillies entered their first Sunday afternoon game of 2013 looking to take two of three from the young Kansas City Royals. Cole Hamels was on the mound for the Phillies, facing the Royals shiny new toy James Shields.
The Phillies got off to a great start in the first inning, putting four runs on the board, including Michael Young’s first RBI as a Phillie. Chase Utley, Domonic Brown, and Erik Kratz also added RBI’s as the Phillies scored four runs playing small-ball. The addition of Young, and the development of Dom Brown have given the Phillies the ability to generate more runs playing small-ball in 2013, which is overlooked by many.
However, for the second straight start, Cole Hamels wasn’t exactly dealing. Hamels struggled early on with his control allowing two runs in the third inning, on RBI’s from Alcides Escobar and Billy Butler. Hamels was able to escape the third having only given up two runs, and the Phillies still had a two run lead, and everyone hoped that Hamels would settle in from there. Hoped.
In the fifth inning Cole Hamels loaded up the bases and Billy Butler, well he unloaded them. Butler hit a ball that went over Domonic Brown’s outstretched glove again the wall and originally was ruled a three-run double. After Royals manager Ned Yost came out to discuss the play with the umpires, the Umps went to Instant replay, which clearly showed that the ball that Butler hit was out of the stadium and bounced back in. The call was promptly overturned and Butler’s now grandslam put the Royals up 6-4.
So for the second time in the series, the Phillies had blown a 4-0 first inning lead. And that grandslam was a timely moment for Sarge to drop his first awkward quote of the year.
“There’s no question this club can bang.” – Sarge
— Sarge Wheeler (@SargeWheeler) April 7, 2013
In the eight inning, Alex Gordon would add on an extra run with an RBI single, to give the Royals a 9-4 lead. At this point, many of the fans still in the stands emptied and the Phillies looked headed for a rough loss.
But, for the second straight game the Phillies rallied in the ninth inning. Beginning with a Jimmy Rollins three-run shot, which scored Revere and Carrera, the Phillies closed the gap in the ninth to two runs. Then Laynce Nix singled to center, which brought home Ryan Howard and moved Michael Young, the potential tying run, into scoring position.
That left Erik Kratz at the plate, with Michael Young at second and the game on the line. The Royals brought in Kelvin Herrera to stop the bleeding, and that is just what he did. Kratz struck out, leaving Young on second, and giving the Royals a 9-8 victory and a series win.
The series proves that the Royals are a young team that can really hit, led by reigning all-star Billy Butler who had seven RBI’s today, and with the added pitching of Shields, who wasn’t great today but can be, the Royals are a team that could contend for the playoffs.
Cole Hamels takes the loss for the Phillies, dropping to 0-2, and the Phillies with this series loss fall to 2-4. It isn’t time to panic yet, butt he weekend proved that the Phillies need to bring up Darin Ruf, because they need a third outfielder next to Ben Revere and Domonic Brown, who brings a productive bat and isn’t just an average or below average player, like John Mayberry, Laynce Nix, and Ezequiel Carrera are. The Phillies need to bring Ruf up, start him in left and move Domonic Brown over to right where he is more suited anyway.