The Phillies can't stand success, at least as they define the word. Three times they have climbed back to dead even for the season and three times they have lost the succeeding game to fall one under. To make matters worse, last night they had a two run lead going into the sixth inning with their ace on the mound. You have to win those sort of games.
Cole Hamels struck out eight batters but didn't appear to have his best stuff. There were a lot of long, loud, hard outs prior to his meltdown in the sixth inning when the balls coming off the Marlins' bats continued to be long, hard and loud but not out. Hamels surrendered four runs in that fateful half inning and the game was lost.
Prior to that, Jason Werth was given the start in right field and homered in his first two at-bats to account for all three Phillies runs. The rest of his teammates accounted for a mere three hits among them and threw in two errors (by Wes Helms and Chase Utley) along the way. Colorless analyst Sarge Matthews noted that the two-run pinch-hit double by 37-year old journeyman infielder Jason Wood, who entered the game batting .200, might have been catchable had Aaron Rowand not been playing so shallow. Replays failed to confirm or deny this point because they never showed just how shallow Rowand was playing. Nevertheless, this is an ongoing issue raised here many times before. Rowand simply does not go back well on the ball, The Catch notwithstanding. The only other positive on the evening was the return from the DL by Ryan Madson, who threw two scoreless innings of relief. The Phillies have now played more than a quarter of the season and have never been over .500.
Charlie Manuel continues to shuffle players in and out of the lineup with Abraham Nunez and Greg Dobbs seeing considerable playing time lately and Werth getting a rare start, too. Shane Victorino sat last night (he did pinch hit) and Helms started at first. Meanwhile, Jimmy Rollins' average continues to fall in his new role as the number three hitter. Manuel apparently doesn't notice or doesn't care.