Phils Fail to Come Back; Series Tied at 1

Cole Hamels was not the Cole Hamels of 2008 and Aaron Cook proved once again that the Phillies can’t hit sinker-ballers as the Rockies won the nail-biter, 5-4. In a game that saw the Phillies fight back from 4-0, it ended with them coming up short with runners in scoring position once again.

The Rockies jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first and the got a two run homer from Yorvit Torrealba in the fourth. Hamels got yanked after the fifth when he allowed one more run. Joe Blanton pitched the sixth and some of the seventh before he was replaced by JA Happ, who left after taking a line drive off his left knee. Scott Eyre came in and allowed a run that was earned by Blanton. Brett Myers, Antonio Bastardo, and Ryan Madson also got some work.

The Phillies offense was dead up until the sixth when they got three runs off an RBI double by Howard and a two-run single by Ibanez. After Colorado made it a 5-3 game, Jayson Werth ripped a solo homer in the eighth.

In the bottom of the ninth and Houston Street in to close for Colorado, the Phillies got a one-out walk from Matt Stairs, who was replaced by Cliff Lee on the bases and then followed up by an out from Ben Francisco and a base hit from Jimmy Rollins. With runners on second and third, Shane Victorino lined out to end the game and Street got the shaky save.

Some things I observed will start with the offense. The Phillies are getting production from 2-6 in the line up but there is no consistency. If this offense can be consistent, they will win games. Hamels shouldn’t be entirely to blame due to him not having any support and was thinking about his wife, who went into labor during the game.

Now the other observation I made that really confused me was how Charlie Manuel handled the bull pen. He used Blanton and Happ in this game, a completely asinine move. Now Blanton and Happ should be eligible to start Sunday but who knows now with the health of Happ’s left leg, where he suffered a contusion.

Next Game: Saturday 9:37 EST @ Colorado
Probables: PHI: Pedro Martinez, COL: Jason Hammel

This is a must win for either team as it will put the loser on the brink of elimination. The Phillies could be looking at playing 30 degree weather and a chance of snow. “I’m going to enjoy the snow. Maybe I’ll be rounding the bases in a snowmobile,” said Martinez via Todd Zolecki’s Twitter.

I love the attitude of Martinez. This guy is so relaxed and calm but knows how to turn on the intensity and win the game. If the Pedro from 10 years ago (or even a couple weeks ago) shows up, expect a 2-1 series lead in favor of the Phillies.
UPDATE: Game 4 will be Sunday at 10:07 EST in Colorado.

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