Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Manuel wanted Martinez to run

It will go down as an inconsquential play because the Phillies won 2-0 and Cole Hamels did not allow any sort of adversity affect him Wednesday.

Manuel wanted Martinez to run

Michael Martinez holds at third base in the fifth inning against the Dodgers. (Elizabeth Robertson/Staff Photographer)
Michael Martinez holds at third base in the fifth inning against the Dodgers. (Elizabeth Robertson/Staff Photographer)

It will go down as an inconsquential play because the Phillies won 2-0 and Cole Hamels did not allow any sort of adversity affect him Wednesday.

But at the time, it felt like Michael Martinez's inability to score on a wild pitch in the fifth inning could be crucial. It was a scoreless tie at that point, and the way the Phillies have scored runs, a missed opportunity as great as this one had to hurt somehow.

The situation: Martinez hit a two-out triple down the right field line and bellyflopped into third base for just his second extra-base hit of the season. He was starting for Chase Utley at second and it was only his 10th start of the season.

Hamels followed the triple with an impressive six-pitch walk. The first pitch Hiroki Kuroda threw Shane Victorino was a sinker that skipped past catcher Rod Barajas and to the backstop.

Martinez broke initially and was about halfway down the line. He probably was going to score... until he stopped.

"I think he could have scored," Charlie Manuel said. "What happened was he started down the line. He was a good ways down the line. Barajas slid and the ball was in front of him. Barajas actually had to go pick the ball up."

In the end, the play did not matter. So Manuel was willing to make some excuses for Martinez.

"He hadn't played much and he hasn't played a whole lot in the big leagues," Manuel said. "He might have wanted to not mess up or something. I wanted him to go there because we're not scoring runs. If he gets thrown out, he gets thrown out. I thought he had a shot to make it."

***

Barajas was not very impressed by Ryan Howard's decisive home run.

"That home run for me is a great Citizens Bank Park home run," the former Phillies catcher told MLB.com. "I set up inside and the pitch was even more inside. It was a ball. It jammed him pretty good. We all know he's a strong man, but I would say this is the only park that ball gets out of, maybe Yankee Stadium. I thought he might break his bat.

"He's a special player, but that ball in that location, you're not supposed to hit that out. And when it goes out, it's frustrating."

***

Cole Hamels allowed six runs in 2 2/3 innings to the Mets on April 5 and was booed off the mound at Citizens Bank Park.

Since then, he has made 12 starts. His line, excluding the first clunker:

88 IP, 61 H, 20 R, 20 ER, 16 BB, 88 K, 2.05 ERA

Can you say early Cy Young candidate?


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Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
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