Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Gone in a Flash

Tom Gordon served up a walkoff grand slam to Dan Uggla last night at Dolphin Stadium. The Phillies need to beat the Marlins tonight to avoid a sweep.

Gone in a Flash

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Another Cole Hamels gem is wasted last night at Dolphin Stadium. The Marlins are looking for a sweep tonight.
Another Cole Hamels gem is wasted last night at Dolphin Stadium. The Marlins are looking for a sweep tonight. WILFREDO LEE / Associated Press

Before the Phillies rolled into Dolphin Stadium on Tuesday, fans had anticipated the possibility of a Phillies sweep.

They could get one.

It's just not the one they wanted. Tom Gordon served up a Dan Uggla walkoff grand slam last night in a 6-2 loss to the Marlins. So instead of the Phillies sweeping the Marlins and building a seven-game lead over their closest competitor in the National League East, the Marlins could sweep the Phillies and move within a game of them. To make matters worse for the Phillies, if they could have pulled out victories in the first two games of this series, they would have had a six-game lead over the Marlins and 8 1/2-game leads over the Mets and Braves. That certainly would have been a big lead for early June.

Gordon allowed five runs in 1/3 inning in a loss to the Washington Nationals on Opening Day. He allowed four runs in 1/3 inning last night. In between Opening Day and last night, he pitched 27 times. He went 5-1 with a 2.13 ERA. 

"The bullpen has been so good," Cole Hamels said. "There's going to be times when you do stumble. It's obviously a learning point for our whole team. You can't just put all your reliance on the bullpen every single game, day in and day out. There is going to be a time where you need to pick it up with the bats and obviously pick it up with the starts. It happens. Flash has been doing real well for us all year. It's a little bump in the road. I know he doesn't take it too personally. He might, but I don't. Just because I know he's going to capitalize the next time he comes out."

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Jayson Werth bunted on his own with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning. Charlie Manuel wanted him to swing away. Both said afterward that it's one of those good plays/bad plays. It's good if it works. It's bad if it doesn't. But as soon as Werth bunted, I thought to myself, "There's no way Charlie wanted him to bunt there." Sure enough, he didn't.

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Another Hamels gem is wasted. He allowed three hits, two runs and one walk in eight innings. He struck out a season-high 13. The Phillies' offense has come up short three times for Hamels this year: Hamels allowed just one run in eight innings in a 1-0 loss to the Nationals on April 2, he allowed no runs in seven innings in a no-decision 1-0 victory against the Nationals on May 20 and last night's start against the Marlins.

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In the Phillies Notebook, Chris Coste has been playing more regularly than Carlos Ruiz lately. Interestingly, Coste left the team yesterday to be with his wife Marcia, who is expecting their second child. So what happens tonight if shomething should happen to Ruiz? Both Werth and Pedro Feliz have caught in the past. But I'm sure Manuel hopes it doesn't come down to that.

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