The frustration could be felt throughout the entire stadium.
It started with Cole Hamels, then drifted to the offense, found its way to the bull pen and left the fans feeling hung out to dry. Hamels couldn’t catch any breaks and the Braves used three homers to take the rubber match, 5-2, and beat the Phils Sunday night.
Hamels was good despite the two mistakes he left over the plate. The first was from Alex Gonzalez, who hit a two-run homer off Hamels in the 2nd. But the lefty appeared to shake it off, mowing through Atlanta’s line up until he was taken yard again, this time by Freddie Freeman in the 5th.
Hamels’ night, though it will be, should not be defined by those two bad pitches. He finished after seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits, one walk and striking out nine.
On the other side, Jair Jurrjens was strong in the win. He pitched 6 1/3, allowing a run on eight hits and a walk while striking out two.
But the frustrations quickly moved to the offense and reliever Michael Stutes. Jimmy Rollins hit into an inning-ending double play in the bottom half of the 7th with the Phillies still trailing by two.
Stutes entered the game but struggled greatly. He walked Nate McLouth to lead off the 8th. Pinch hitter Eric Hinske followed up with a two-run homer.
But there was some hope left for the Phillies offense, who got an early spark in the 8th. Shane Victorino led off with a triple off the top of the wall in left center. Placido Polanco then singled on what should have been scored an error to bring home Victorino, making it a 5-2 game.
But Ryan Howard’s fielder’s choice, Ben Francisco’s fly out and John Mayberry’s pinch hit fly out following a Raul Ibanez single ended the scoring threat.
The 9th wasn’t any better as the Phillies wasted two runners with one out when Victorino stared at strike three – a ball to be honest – and a fly out by Polanco to end the game.
Quick rant on Polly: With a 2-0 count, Polanco swung at a high fast ball, flying out to end the game. With that count, he should have taken the pitch in order to wait for something better to hit, especially with Howard on deck. This is the type of at-bat Polanco usually does not make. He’s a good contact hitter and this mental lapse was one of many things costing the Phillies a chance at a come back.
The Phillies start up a three-game set with the Marlins tomorrow.
2B: Victorino (6), Valdez (4). 3B: Victorino (4).
WP: Jurrjens (4-0). LP: Hamels (4-2). S: Kimbrel (8).