Cole Hamels struck out six in seven quality innings during Thursday afternoon's 4-3 loss to the Marlins. Credit: Getty Images
Cole Hamels had really good stuff Thursday afternoon, but the Phillies wasted a good outing from the lefty in a 4-3 walk-off loss to the Marlins.
The game was a pitchers duel until the sixth and seventh innings, when the Marlins struck for three runs to take a 3-0 lead.
The Phillies came back, like they have so many times this season, using a Ryan Howard sacrifice fly and Marlon Byrd two-run homer in the eighth to tie the game at 3-3.
But the Phillies bullpen played the same tune, this time Jake Diekman was the guilty party, giving up a walk-off single to Christian Yelich.
The Phillies lost the series 2-1
Phillies back in town for 11-game homestand
A Baseball season is a marathon not a sprint, and the Phillies will look to have short memories as they start a season-long 11-game homestand Friday when Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers come to town for three.
The Phillies, 20-24, will have to face one of the top starters in the National League in Kershaw to open the series Friday, countering with Roberto Hernandez. In Game No. 2, Dan Haren will face whomever the Phillies choose to call up to fill the rotation spot left open by injured Cliff Lee, and in the 1:35 Sunday game Josh Beckett will take on A.J. Burnett.
The Phillies have a sub-.500 record at home and will need to take advantage of their time in Philadelphia to climb back up the standings --- they currently trail the first-place Braves by 4.5 games.
But to pick up any ground in the division, they will need a better performance from their bullpen, which ranks near the bottom in every category in the majors.
After the Dodgers leave town the Phillies will host the Rockies for a mid-week trio of games before the Mets arrive for an extended five-game series (making up for a rainout earlier this spring).