Cole Hamels pitched himself into another no decision, going 108 pitches and 6 innings into tonight's game in Minnesota against the Twins. He struck out 5, walked none, and gave up 2 earned runs on 7 hits. It was a solid, solid outing, though he was not efficient. The Phillies handed the game off to the bullpen, which blew it. The story of 2013, right? Well, here is the autopsy:
The scoring started in the third when John Mayberry reached on an error. He moved to second on a fielder's choice, and he scored from second on a single by Michael Young. The Phillies, thusly staked to a small lead, proceeded to cough it up.
In the fourth inning, the Twins had back-to-back-to-back doubles by Josh Willingham, Justin Morneau, and Oswaldo Arcia that resulted in two runs scoring. That was all Hamels gave up on the night, but this is a team with no margin for error at all, and two runs was too much.
After Hamels left after the sixth, Justin De Fratus pitched a clean seventh, striking out two batters and retiring the other on a fly ball to center, bringing the Phillies to the plate. They tied it up with singles by Kevin Frandsen, Ben Revere, and Ryan Howard resulting in a single run and a tie game, at 2 - 2.
Into the fray came Mike Adams, hired to be the fixer of eighth inning uncertainty for 2013, and he walked the first batter he faced, Jamey Carroll. Singles and a fielder's choice pushed Carroll around the bases to score, with the final hit coming off Antonio Bastardo, who was brought in to face Morneau, but could not get him out.
And that was it. Another tough loss late when the pen could not hold and the offense could not score on a string of pedestrian pitchers. PJ Walters looked great against a poor Phillies offense, going 7.1 innings, striking out 5, walking 1, and giving up one earned run on 6 hits, but he was hardly anything special -- the Phillies just made him look good. A team starting Humberto Quintero, Ben Revere (whose wRC+ is 9th worst of 164 qualified MLB batters in 2013), Delmon Young (see the comments), Freddy Galvis, and Ryan Howard is just not going to score runs. And it will make PJ Walters look like an All Star pitcher.
Fangraph of Le Suck: