Cole Hamels was the story of the Phillies’ 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals this afternoon. Without even having his best stuff, he only suffered 2 ER over 7.1 IP, and also provided 42.6% of the team’s total offense.
Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainwright solved the Phillies, plain and simple. In an efficient 104 pitches, he held the Phillies to 6 H, 1 ER, and allowed 0 BB in 8.0 IP. After Wainwright’s 7 K outing, closer Trevor Rosenthal cleaned up with 2 K and a BB in the 9th.
The Phillies’ offense totaled only 7 total bases today, 3 of which came from the starting pitcher. Chase Utley fruitlessly singled in the first inning, Domonic Brown singled to start the 7th, and Jimmy Rollins singled in the 8th.
The productive inning for the Phillies was the 3rd. Cody Asche singled on a line drive to center field, followed by a ground ball single from Hamels. Asche was driven home by a sacrifice fly from Rollins.
Hamels would additionally double on a smoked ground-rule double to deep center (similar to A.J. Burnett‘s double the night before), but the offense was generally scattered and unproductive.
From the pitching perspective, Hamels wasn’t sharp tonight – however, his results weren’t the reason the team lost. His 7.1 IP took 120 pitches, racking up 5 walks. However, he struck out 8 and only allowed 5 hits. However, his inability to keep base-runners off of first eventually caught up with him.
This ended Hamels’ night, who was replaced by Jake Diekman. Molina immediately reached first base on a hit by pitch, followed by a passed ball, moving all runners.
Jhonny Peralta reached on a fielders’ choice that resulted in no outs, scoring Holliday. The final run was plated by yet another Matt Adams sacrifice fly.
Credit has to go to the team for the 5-game win streak coming into the game, but this is more of the predicted performance coming into the series.
I also wondered at the time why Cole Hamels was left in to begin the 8th inning. In previous starts he had top-shelf stuff, and a weak bullpen behind him. This afternoon, he was already above 100 pitches, struggling with the strike zone, and a bullpen that has been the best in the majors in recent weeks.
Also, for this installment of beating a dead horse, starting John Mayberry Jr. in centerfield against a RHP is unproductive. If Ben Revere is still unavailable, Cesar Hernandez would have been my preferred option – Mayberry is still only producing against LHP.