After the Phillies bats came out of the All-Star break red hot to win 13 to 8 last night, the Phils turned around for a Saturday matinee at Citi Field. After two solid starts prior to the All-Star break, the Phillies sent Cole Hamels to the mound, hoping that he could continue to turn his season around. The Mets countered with rookie phenom Zack Wheeler.
Jimmy Rollins reminded us that he is still on the Phillies, with a leadoff homerun to start the game. Rollins lead the Phillies with 23 homeruns in 2012, but nearly 100 games into the 2013 campaign and this was just Rollins fifth homerun of the season.
Unfortunately Cole Hamels struggled mightily in the first inning. On an extremely hot day in New York, Hamels struggled to establish any control in the first inning. Marlon Byrd started the damage with with an RBI single. Juan Lagares bloop single to left, gave the Mets a two to nothing lead early on. Hamels got a ground ball to potentially get out of the inning allowing only two runs, but because
Michael Young struggled to get the ball out of his glove, Chase Utley couldn’t turn the double play. This allowed Byrd to score and give the Mets a three to nothing lead after the first inning.
The Phillies loaded the bases up with no one out in the top half of the fifth, and appeared poised to at least tie the game. Chase Utley cut into the three to one deficit, with a sacrifice fly to score Cole Hamels. After that, the Phillies didn’t do much of anything. Dom Brown flew out after getting a three balls and no strikes green light, and after the Phillies loaded up the bases again, Delmon Young struck out to end the inning. Having the bases loaded twice and managing to score one run, just isn’t good enough.
In the bottom half of the fifth, Cole Hamels gave that run back. David Wright drove in Eric Young Jr., to give the Mets a four to two lead. That closed the line on Hamels, who went five innings, while allowing seven hits, and giving up four runs. 24 million dollars for five innings, isn’t good enough.
Mets closer Bobby Parnell had Chase Utley down to the final strike of the game in the ninth, before leaving a pitch up in the zone for Chase Utley to drive a two-run shot to the second deck in right field. Dom Brown followed with a double to the left-field gap, putting the tying run in scoring position. Darin Ruf batted next, smoking a pitch, but right at Mets second-baseman Daniel Murphy to end the game.
Had the Phillies done anything more than get the Utley sac-fly in the fifth, Utley’s ninth inning homerun may have tied the game or even given the Phillies the lead. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. The Phils will take on the Mets tomorrow afternoon, sending Cliff Lee to the mound, looking to win the series.