"I can't wait for (the season) to end."
There’s a quote from Cole Hamels following his disasterous outing against the Yankees in Game 3 Saturday night. Hamels was questioned about his terrible 2009 season and responded with that little gem.
Cole Hamels is done. So, he can call it a season right now, empty out his locker and go home to his mansion in West Chester, Pa. It’s that type of attitude that has turned Hamels from legend to goat in the matter of 12 months. It’s sad, really.
Hamels had a 3-0 lead to work with and was stellar through three innings. Like a rogue wave, Hamels’ downfall was unseen, but in the pit of my stomach, I anticipated he would struggle at some point.
He was removed after 4 1/3 innings. He allowed five earned runs.
It was the starting pitching.
Whereas Hamels faltered after a strong start, Andy Pettitte bounced back from a shaky start and pitched six quality innings. The Phillies had a chance to break the game open in the second inning when they loaded the bases with one out. They managed three runs, but it could’ve been much more.
Jayson Werth hit two solo homers and Carlos Ruiz smashed a meaningless one in the ninth. Other than those two, the Phillies’ offense was silenced after the third inning.
Good bullpen pitching by New York. Mariano Rivera earned a two-out save.
All in all, the Phillies simply aren’t hitting. Ryan Howard is in a major funk (nine Ks in three games). I actually think the long layoff shattered the groove he was in. Jimmy Rollins, save a single to lead off the game, didn’t do much. Same for Shane Victorino, who had a dreadful at-bat against Pettitte in the second inning with the bases juiced. Hmm… Chase Utley has gone back to being a non-factor. And Pedro Feliz is Pedro Feliz.
Ruiz continues to rake and Werth essentially carried the offense. That’s about it in terms of positives in the lineup right now.
The Turning Point
A-Rod’s two-run homer was reviewed by the umpires, who declared the ball would have travled over the right-field wall had it not hit a television camera.
A-Rod’s shot sparked the Yanks. Soon after, Hamels folded. The collapse came when he threw a get-me-over CURVEBALL to Pettitte, who swung and made contact for a hit to center field, which drove in the tying run. Johnny Damon then smoked a two-run double off Hamels.
The Next Game
This is what I feared the most. Charlie Manuel decided Friday that Joe Blanton will pitch Game 4 against CC Sabathia. Basically, as a Phillies fan, all you can do is cross your fingers and hope that Blanton gives you six-plus innings and doesn’t allow no more than three runs.
I have a feeling the Phillies will come out with an aggressive approach against Sabathia. This sounds lame, but I think Sabathia can get rattled if he lets the crowd get into his head. I thought he struggled with that “distraction” in last year’s NLDS. There’s also a possibility Sabathia struggles because he’s pitching on three days rest.
Speaking of the crowd, the fans were lame. Once the Phillies scored those three runs, I think the feeling amongst the fans was that the game was in the bag.
When the Phillies got down, the crowd went silent for good… pretty much. We need a better effort in Game 4.
And like a New York City STD, The Bank spread with “Let’s Go Yankees!” and “Hip-hip, Jorge!” chants from about the sixth inning on.