In a tale of two change-ups, John Buck, Aaron Hill and Alex Gonzalez homered off Cole Hamels, and Shaun Marcum kept the Phillies on the ropes using a good off-speed stuff, as the Blue Jays bounced back with a 5-1 win.
Hamels, who fell to 6-6, lasted only four innings
and saw his nine-game streak of allowing three earned runs or less come
to an end. The left-hander has allowed 18 home runs, second-most in the
National League. Ryan Howard accounted for the Phillies only scoring. The
Phils, who had won four straight and can't seem to string together a long
winning streak, lost ground to the front-running Braves, who defeated the Tigers. Afterward, Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel gave Marcum
his due. "When we don’t hit, you have to give the guy on the mound
credit," Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said after the game. His
stuff wasn’t high-powered, but he was giving us fits with his changeup."
Beerleaguer: The Phillies are guaranteed to go .500 in interleague play, but can improve to 10-8 if Jamie Moyer and the boys can take today's rubber match. Considering how they played leading up to this portion of their schedule, there's comfort in that, even if they can't seem to gain ground on the rest of the division, and even if last Saturday's bullpen debacle still lingers (it does with me). The barometer for the Phillies will be their remaining games against the NL East. Basically, four average to slightly above average teams. All they had to do was survive this stretch, and they have.