Hamels Big Effort Goes for Naught


0. 6. 1. 4. Final

Cole Hamels pitched like the ace that he is, and certainly continues to make himself an increasingly attractive trade target. None of it helped his current team, the Phillies, who lost 1-0 in 11 innings to the host Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon.

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On Friday night, the Bucs downed the Phils by 1-0 in 13 innings. On Saturday, it was a 4-3 Pittsburgh win. The Fightin’ Phils pitchers did their parts, for the most part. But three runs in three games across 33 innings will not win you many ball games. It usually won’t win you any ball games, as with the Phillies on this lost weekend.

Hamels went 7 innings today. He allowed just 4 hits. He struck out 12 batters and walked none. He threw 73 strikes in his 102 pitches. He was masterful. He was followed by Ken Giles and Luis Garcia, who were just as strong. Each pitched a shutout inning, with a combined 4-1 K:BB ratio.

The Pirates, however, received an ace-level effort from ex-Phillie A.J. Burnett as well. Burnett went 9 innings, allowing 5 hits, with a 4-1 K:BB ratio. He was followed by shutout frames from both Jared Hughes and another ex-Phil, Antonio Bastardo (2-1), the latter of whom would finally earn the victory, just as he did in the 13-inning shutout on Friday night.

The one hurler who did not pitch a shutout on the afternoon was another in the trade spotlight, Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. Paps was called on in the bottom of the 11th and retired the first two batters. Neil Walker then singled up the middle. That led to the game’s biggest moment.

Jose Tabata rolled a grounder to Phils’ shortstop Freddy Galvis, who prepared to gun him out for the final out of the inning. Instead, Galvis threw the ball away, allowing Walker to go to 3rd and Tabata to 2nd. Instead of inning over, the winning run was now 90 feet away. Josh Harrison then singled up the middle to score Walker with the game-winner.

Domonic Brown returned to the Phillies for the first time this season, going 0-4. Ben Revere and Jeff Francoeur, the Phillies’ best hitters over the last couple of weeks, each had a pair of hits, but the rest of the lineup had just two combined.

The Phillies have now lost the first 6 games of this 8-game road trip, and 9 of their last 10. Stretching back nearly a month, they have gone down to defeat in 19 of their last 24 games, and are 7-26 on the road for the season.

The Phils now move on to Baltimore for the start of what will be a 4-game home-and-home with the Orioles. The first two will take place on Monday and Tuesday at Camden Yards, and then the teams will move to Citizens Bank Park for Wednesday and Thursday.