What we had tonight was a typical Cole Hamels start. Hamels pitches like the Cy Young candidate, non-Kershaw division, that he is, giving up 2 or fewer runs over 7 or more innings yet somehow also "earning" a loss. To be quite honest, Hamels didn't appear to have his best stuff tonight, registering only 4 strikeouts and needing over 100 pitches to make it through 7 innings. Nevertheless, he only surrendered 2 runs which would be sufficient for a win on most other teams with other offenses, but not on the Phillies. (Note: next season, we need to start a Twitter awareness campaign using the hashtag #ScoreForCole. Spreading awareness has solved so many other problems in the world that it only seems fitting to apply its miraculousness to the Phillies' chronic lack of run support for Cole. Thus, #ScoreForCole is born.)
And, boy, was the Phillies offense bad today. They went through a stretch of 5 innings (3rd-7th) registering just 2 hits. In fact, the Phillies offense was so bad that they were in danger of getting #Madduxed, with Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez needing just 87 pitches to get to 23 outs. Then, with 2 outs in the 8th, Carlos Ruiz drew a walk, effectively ending the #Maddux threat. We'll take any victory we can get out of a Hamels start, however small.
The Phillies tried to make it look like they intended to #ScoreForCole off of Steve Chisek in the 9th after Marlon Byrd and Dom Brown started the inning with back-to-back singles. The #ScoreForCole campaign proved to not have raised enough awareness yet, however, and the next three Phillies, in their ignorance, made outs to end the game.
We await 2015, the year of #ScoreForCole.
Fangraphs of ignorance of and anticipation for #ScoreForCole:
Bigger Picture Bullet Points
Dom Brown went 2 for 4, continuing his second half resurgence to "marginally above-average player." He did show off his lack of defensive range on a fly ball that went over his head, but I might have been premature in giving up on him. He'll be worth another chance next year on yet another non-contending Phillies team.
Cole Hamels continued what has been a masterful season. If you take out his first 3 starts of the season as he was coming back from injury, Hamels has a 2.03 ERA (2.93 FIP) with 9.0 K/9. Those numbers will increase slightly once Fangraphs adds tonight's game into their database, but the point stands: remove Clayton Kershaw and Cole Hamels becomes the NL Cy Young front-runner.
I haven't watched the post-game show in a while, but Ricky Bo is looking gaunt. The losses are clearly getting to him and he needs the offseason--and an all-you-can-eat buffet--as much as the Phillies.