When you have your ace going, stake him to a 3-0 lead and are playing at home on a gorgeous day in front of another sellout crowd of adoring fans, you have to win.
Cole Hamels turned in a second less than impressive start yesterday, losing for only the second time this season (but to the same team) as the Phils wasted a chance to take two straight from the Miami Marlins. For the season the Phils are 12-14 at home, a pitiful record.
There were plenty of opportunities to win the game yesterday, but as is their wont the Phils wasted most of them.
A few items did stand out to me.
Earlier this season I disparaged any team that would start Juan Pierre in the outfield. I apologize to you, Juan. You play hard. You play well. You make a difference.
Freddy Galvis has impressed everyone with his efforts this season. He is, if anything, better than advertised defensively. Offensively, Freddy looks terrible. Even his double down the right field line looked like one of the worst swings I've seen in years. Freddy is striking out a lot and looks very uncomfortable at the plate.
With J-Roll it's always a case of the best of times/worst of times scenario. He had two hits yesterday, one of which was a swinging infield single that traveled 50 feet. Otherwise, he struck out on three pitches to lead off the game and exhibited his usual lack of discipline. We've been waiting for Jimmy to be patient and just put the ball in play for years now. It ain't gonna' happen.
Hunter Pence is regressing to the mean...fortunately! He is a solid hitter whose average and production has been rising steadily to his norms. He will never be mistaken for Roberto Clemente in right field, but he is a hustling player on a team that some times looks like it is sleepwalking.
Carlos Ruiz may have gone hitless yesterday to "drop" his average to .371, but in his first AB he went the other way on a ground ball to drive in a run. Just a pure pro.
Cole Hamels had batters swinging and missing early, but somehow one knew he didn't have his best stuff and it was only a matter of time before the mashers in the Marlins' lineup would get to him.
Shane Victorino should stop switch-hitting. Plenty of guys go through their careers batting from one side only. His splits are terrible and he looks awful batting left-handed.