Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hamels struggles in first loss of season

On a frigid, windy night in Philadelphia, Cole Hamels became the first ace to falter.

Taking on the hated New York Mets, Hamels didn't make it out of the third inning; allowing six runs on seven hits, two walks and three strikeouts in a 7-1 loss.

Hamels got into a jam in the first inning, but worked out of it impressively and appeared to be back on track. Jose Reyes led off with a hit, and Hamels hit Angel Pagan with a pitch. After a double steal, New York had runners at second and third with no outs. Hamels then struck out David Wright, forced Carlos Beltran to pop out to second, and struck out Scott Hairston to end the inning and strand the runners in scoring position.

After a one-two-three top of the second, Hamels entered the third in a scoreless tie. The Mets put six on the board without an extra base hit. Opposing pitcher Chris Young led off the inning with a single, and later hit an RBI single in the same inning. Young's second hit ended Hamels' night.

It's hard to put much stock in this game. Yes, everyone wanted to see Hamels come out strong after an inconsistent spring; but the weather conditions at Citizen's Bank Park were brutal. It was freezing and extremely windy. At least fifty or sixty fans were crammed into the elevator lobby in the upper level at any particular time, looking for relief. The longest concession line: hot chocolate.

Last night was not baseball weather and hopefully it was just a fluke of a game. But while the Mets produced seven runs on thirteen hits, the Phillies struggled at the plate as well.

Shane Victorino was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts at the top of the order. Placido Polanco drove in the Phillies' only run on an RBI double in the sixth.

Joe Blanton takes the ball for the first time this season tonight, opposing Mets' Opening Day starter Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey allowed five runs in just 4.1 innings against the Marlins.

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