The on-again, off-again question of whether or not Cole Hamels should sue his mates for lack of support took a sudden turn last night as a new potential target for his displeasure entered the picture. Hamels departed the game last night after seven outstanding innings against Chicago in Wrigley Field during which he held the heavy hitting Cubbies to five hits and one run. The bullpen then proceeded first to blow that lead and then the game, serving up five runs including a grand slam homer by Aramis Ramirez.
Ryan Madson was the chief offender, yielding three runs in the eighth inning, though the base-clearing drive by Ramirez came off Chad Durbin. Madson picked a particularly lousy time to revert to his usual unreliable self while Durbin, whose track record isn't nearly as extensive or uneven as Madson's, may simply be wearing down from overuse.
Normally this season the bullpen has been able to hold a good lead late in the game, but this was the second night in a row they failed. Despite their three run lead, the Phillies wasted other scoring opportunities, hardly an unusual occurrence, that could have put the game out of reach. Though they scored a run in the first inning, they also left the bases loaded. So instead of beginning this tough weekend series with a win against a team that hardly ever loses at home, the Phils lost and dropped a full game behind the Mets in the NL East.