Thursday, August 7, 2008

Phils Shut Down By Marlins Rookie

On paper, the Phillies had the advantage. Staff ace Cole Hamels took on Florida rookie Chris Volstad. Apparently no one told Volstad about the uphill battle he was supposed to face, as he threw six scoreless innings and combined with the bullpen for a four-hit shutout.

The Marlins broke onto the scoreboard in the second inning, when Cody Ross doubled with two outs and Matt Treanor singled to bring him in. Florida would tack on another run in the sixth inning. Those would be the only earned runs allowed by Hamels. The Marlins would score once more in the seventh, an unearned run attributed to Hamels, due in part to a Ryan Howard throwing error.

The score was only 3-0, but, as often seems to be the case when Hamels pitches, the small deficit proved insurmountable. The Phillies could only muster four hits (though they also recorded six walks), one of which came from Hamels himself.

This has become a frustrating trend for the Phillies. Hamels' record dropped to 9-8, despite a 3.35 ERA. One has to think he is jealous of Kyle Kendrick, who has a 10-5 record despite a 4.37 ERA. Perhaps all this proves is that pitching records are meaningless, but it is a very strange trend that should have evened itself out by now.

At least the Phillies get a break from the Marlins, who, along with the Mets, have given them fits this season. That's something that will have to be rectified if the Phillies want to hang on to the division lead. They'll take on the Pirates next, a team which has (somewhat ironically) been heavily pillaged by the AL East. Perhaps that will get the Phillies on the right track.

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