From the first Mets batter of the game, you had the feeling this would be yet another one of those nights for Cole Hamels. The struggling lefty faced Angel Pagan in the bottom of the first inning, got ahead 1-2, saw Pagan foul off four straight pitches and then lace one just out of the reach of third baseman Greg Dobbs.
Hamels wasn't scored on in the first, but allowed two runs in the second and third innings each, lowlighted by hitting opposite number Mike Pelfrey on an 0-2 count in the second and a leadoff Jeff Francoeur homer an inning later, to put the Phils behind 4-1. He left after five innings and 92 pitches, allowing ten hits including the one home run, hitting two batters, and striking out six. The loss dropped Hamels to 7-8 on the year and 1-4 lifetime against the team he dismissed as "chokers" last winter. Hamels last won on July 28, against the Diamondbacks; since then, he's gone 5.0, 5.1, 6.0, and 5.0 innings, and the team has lost all four games.
The Phillies had chances against Mike Pelfrey and three relievers, but couldn't get the big hit when needed; they left 11 men on base, including the bases loaded against Pelfrey in the sixth and first and third against Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth. But the Mets closer struck out Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to end the game... and then celebrated like he'd done something remotely approaching what Hamels did last October.
The series continues Saturday night with J.A. Happ against New York's Tim Redding.