Cole Hamels, as he has so often in his career, pitched well enough to earn a win -- but didn't Sunday. Credit: Getty Images
The irony was more than palpable when Lucas Duda homered off of Phillippe Aumont on Cliff Lee figurine day as the Mets beat the Phillies 4-3 in what else but extra-innings.
The Phillies injured ace was traded for Aumont and two other prospects, who have generated little for the Phillies. The Phillies offense has also generated little for Cole Hamels.
Ryan Howard, who is in a power groove, blasted a two-run homer that almost reached Ashburn Alley. However, the Phillies continue to leave a tremendous amount of runners on base during this endless series against the Mets.
Hamels, who has just one victory this season, refused to speak to the media. Who could blame the Phillies healthy ace, who gave up just one earned run and left it all out on the mound after throwing 125 pitches over seven strong innings?
King Cole has a 2.57 ERA over his last five starts but has little to show for it.
“We came up short offensively for him,” Ryne Sandberg said. “He pitched well enough to win today.”
That’s been so for most starts for Hamels. The bats, not the bullpen has turned into the most troubling source for the Phillies.
The Phillies managed only three hits after Howard’s titanic blast in the fourth inning. One of those hits led to frustration. With Cesar Hernandez on first, Domonic Brown singled to left with out in the seventh. However, Brown inexplicably tried to stretch the hit into a double. Brown was a dead duck. Instead of men on first and third with one out, the Phillies failed to score Hernandez. The Phillies have been fundamentally challenged for much of the season..
“It’s frustrating,” Sandberg said. “Brown thought that there was a play at the plate but Cesar had to freeze on the ball over (David) Wright. Brown turned to wide. Cesar had to freeze there.”
The Phillies offense has been freezing. Sandberg’s club is only six games out of first place despite offensive ineptitude and a lack of stability in the bullpen but the club has already lost 30 games at the dawn of June.
“They’re a good team over there,” David Wright said. “I respect the Phillies. It’s a long season. They’ve yet to get hot.”
It’s true. The Phillies have yet to go on a four-game winning streak.
“I think we can get on a roll,” Ben Revere said. “We just have to put it all together.”