After another Brad Lidge blown save last night, the Phillies needed a win this afternoon to split a four-game series at the Houston Astros. However, the offensive funk struck again for the Phillies as they lost their third straight game to the Astros, 3 to 4.
Coming off of 19 straight scoreless innings, fans were hoping Cole Hamels would able to complete his third straight shutout. While he looked good early on, Hamels was roughed up with a three-spot in the fifth inning, and ended up lasting six innings, allowing four earned runs, striking out six and walking two on his way to earning the loss. Former Phillie Michael Bourn proved to be the bane of existence for the Fightins’, as his stolen bases in the fourth and fifth innings led to two runs that were the difference in the final score. There were a few bright spots in today’s game however, as Jimmy Rollins, Ben Francisco, and Jayson Werth all had solo home runs today.
These three dingers should give Phillies fans some comfort as the team races towards the end of September. Rollins has been more consistent since his career-worst slump earlier in the year. Francisco’s contributions give the Phillies an insurance policy should something worthy of a DL trip happen to one of the starting outfielders. Finally, Werth’s deposit into the Crawford Boxes in left field may help prevent him from an untimely slump until the Phillies ensure that they have a trip to the playoffs.
Here are some final notes from the game:
-Shane Victorino did not play today due to discomfort in his knee. It looks as though Charlie Manuel wanted to give Shane a rest before it turned into something worse.
-Chase Utley returned to the lineup this afternoon after sitting out last night’s game with a bruised foot. He wore a protective guard on his left foot and looked to be in some pain today, but considering his reputation as a gamer he will probably miss little to no time as it heals.
-Tom Hagan ’11