Phillies lose their fourth straight game as the offense vanishes, losing to the Cardinals, 2-0.

Cole Hamels pitches a very good game as he only gives up three hits in seven innings of work. Unfortunately, two of those hits would be solo home runs. And even worst, the Phillies’ offense disappeared completely, as they got only six hits, as they lose their fourth straight game, falling to the Cardinals, 2-0. The game would be a pitchers’ duel between Hamels and Cardinals’ starter, Joel Pineiro, as the Phillies would squander a chance to take the lead in the second, while Hamels would keep the redbirds off-balanced. That is until the fifth, when Hamels gives up a solo home run to Rick Ankiel, his nineteenth home run of the year, giving the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. One inning later, with two men out, he would give up another solo home run, this one to Ryan Ludwick, his eighteenth home run of the year, to make it 2-0 Cardinals. That would be it, as the Phillies would be unable to mount much of an offense, as the batters would blow a rally in the seventh. Ryan Franklin would pitch the ninth, recording his twelfth save of the year.

Cole Hamels would take the lost, in spite of pitching seven innings of three hit ball as he gives up two earned runs. Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge would both pitch a scoreless inning, giving up a hit each. Joel Pineiro would pitch six and one thirds innings of shut out ball, giving up only five hits. Ron Villone would pitch two-thirds innings of scoreless, hitless pitching. Kyle McClellan would pitch a hitless, scoreless inning. Ryan Franklin would pitch a scoreless night as he gives up only one hit while recording his twelfth save of the year.

Once again, the offense vanishes after showing a sign of life the previous day. This is getting to be a real annoyance. The Phillies are suppose to be one of the best runs producing teams in baseball, but I sometimes wonder if its really is, considering how much they seem to prefer letting their big men do all of their scoring and not even show a willingness to do some small ball. What is it with this team and creating runs when the big men can’t seem to get going? Are they afraid of looking like an ordinary team? If they are, then shame on them. They need to get off their individual high horses and start playing some small ball, and in that way put some pressure on the defense. Otherwise, start saying hello to the Nationals if they keep playing like this.

The Phillies (48-43) continue their three games series with the Cardinals (51-40, 2nd National League Central), with a night game at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will by rookie J.A. Happ (0-0, 3.86), who is coming off a no-decision against the Mets on July 4, where he pitched four and two-thirds innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits, in the Phillies’ 3-2 victory. He will be trying for his first major league victory while seeing if he will be able to pitch good enough to stay in the majors. The Cardinals will counter with rookie Mark Mulder (0-0, 13.50), who is making his first start of the year, after spending time in the bullpen. His last appearace, on July 2 against the Mets, he would only go a third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. He will be seeing if he can do well as a starter, while trying to keep the Phillies’ bats quiet.

The lost leave the Phillies with a one game lead over the Marlins, who are presently losing to the Padres. Their lead over the Mets is now at a game and a half as the Mets crushed the Giants. The Phillies lead the Braves by five and a half games, as they are presently involved in a scoreless game with the Dodgers. The Phillies will once again try to find out where their defense have disappeared to so that they can get back to winning and leading their division.

Edit: The Phils lead is still at a game and a half as the Marlins are defeated by the Padres. The defeat now placed the Marlins in a tied for second with the Mets. Wheee I say in sarcastically. Come on offense, wake up, blast it!!!!

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