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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Game 103: Phils, Hamels lose series to Giants (59-44)

The Phillies lost to the Giants today, capping perhaps their worst defensive series of the whole season. The Phils made multiple errors Thursday night, they failed to throw out Aaron Rowand at home Saturday night from short right field, and Ryan Howard's error today changed the course of the entire game. It didn't help that Cole Hamels pitched poorly, and any pitcher who relies on Ryan Howard's defense is already treading in rough water.

However, the Phils were tied at 3-3 when a slow roller in the 5th inning with 2 outs went towards Howard. He misplayed the ball initially, but since Pablo Sandoval was running, he still had time to make play. Unfortunately, he panicked and tossed the ball over Hamels' head into the Phils' dugout. Hamels ended that inning with only a one-run deficit, but perhaps he doesn't allow any runs in the following inning if his defense did not let him down.

Either way, the Phils aren't getting much from Hamels at the top of the rotation, so the Cliff Lee acquisition looks even better. The Giants are a possible playoff opponent, and since they are actually pretty good against LHP, I am going to root for the Rockies to take the wild-card spot. I'll take my chances with Jason Marquis and Aaron Cook instead of Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain.

No complaints from the manager today: I would have liked to see Raul Ibanez in the OF, but he is still recovering from his injury, and his bat has cooled off considerably. The Marlins won today, so the division lead is down to 5 games. There are two months remaining in the season, and despite what Howard Eskin says, the Phils are not in the playoffs just yet. They have an off-day tomorrow, and they open up a 3-game set with wild-card hopeful Colorado on Tuesday at 7:05 pm when LHP Jamie Moyer faces RHP Jason Hammel.

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