An errant throw, a base-running miscue and poor situational hitting nullified a decent start by Cole Hamels in a 3-2 loss to Atlanta.
Readers called it “a stupid game,” which was a good way of putting it. While it wouldn’t be accurate to call a seven-inning, three-run evening a disappointment, those still waiting for Hamels to deliver a lights-out performance down the stretch can only reminisce over the eight-inning, 13-strikeout shutout that occurred Sept. 28, 2007 against Washington.
There was Hamels’ wild throw in the third, Pat Burrell’s base-running mistake in the sixth, but also, why is Shane Victorino pulling the ball to that side of the infield? The Flyin' Hawaiian can do many things, but situational hitting is not one of them. It's just one example of the many blown chances against Mike Hampton, who improved to 3-3. The Phils grounded into three double plays on the night. Lineup catalysts Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth and Victorino went hitless, leading to a predictable, low-scoring finish.
With the loss, coupled with the Mets' win, their lead falls to 1.5 games in the National League East. They hold a 2.5 game advantage over the Brewers, who also won. Things will get hairy if the Phillies can't rebound tonight.