A loss that makes you want to scream

DUSTIN BRADFORD / GETTY IMAGES Charlie Manuel visits Cole Hamels on the mound along with Humberto Quintero and Ryan Howard.
DUSTIN BRADFORD / GETTY IMAGES Charlie Manuel visits Cole Hamels on the mound along with Humberto Quintero and Ryan Howard.
Posted: June 18, 2013

DENVER - Cole Hamels stepped off the mound, raised his glove to his mouth and screamed.

The yelling continued after the inning, too. After pitching his seventh and final inning yesterday at Coors Field, in a game that went from a tight pitchers' duel to a typical unlucky start for him, Hamels was irate with home plate umpire Marvin Hudson.

A little while later, after he had time to chill out, shower and prepare for a flight back to Philly, Hamels was cool, calm and collected. Staying angry wasn't going to change the fact that the Phillies lost yet another game and Hamels was the benefactor of both bad luck and no offense, too.

"The moment I stop caring, I think you can definitely take the ball away and kick me out of the game," Hamels said after a 5-2 defeat to the Colorado Rockies. "I like to win. I like to go out there and try to be the best at it. It's not happening.

"I know there will be a boiling point. It'll spill over. Those are the moments where it spills over because you're working so hard in between starts, you're working so hard during the game, keeping your team within reason. And it just doesn't happen."

Hamels' screams as he exited the game a little over an hour earlier were a fitting end to an 11-day road trip from hell.

The last time the Phils were at Citizens Bank Park they were riding high on a four-game winning streak. They'll return to their home ballpark today having lost seven of 10 games in Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Denver.

Through the first 70 games of the season, the Phils are 33-37 - the exact same place they stood after 70 games in 2012. They weren't a playoff team last season, missing the postseason for the first time since 2006.

Do they look like a playoff team in 2013? "I'm not going to comment on that one," Hamels said.

But Hamels' no-comment pretty much answered the question. And when asked if this season feels a lot like last season, Hamels was both honest and critical of his own team.

"I think last year, we had a little more in the way of excuses," Hamels said, alluding to a year that began with both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard on the disabled list. "This year I don't think we have the excuses. We have to be accountable for what we're doing. The way that we're playing, what's going on . . . I'm not happy about it. The reason I want to be here is to win."

Instead, Hamels and the Phillies are losing with regularity. The Phils are 2-13 in his starts this season.

Hamels (2-10) is the first Phillies pitcher to reach a double-digit loss total prior to the All-Star break since Kyle Abbott in 1992.

But Hamels also has a 3.56 ERA in his last 13 starts and has held the opposition to three runs or fewer in 10 of his 15 starts.

Yesterday, like many a day he has pitched this season, the offense was a no-show. The Phils have scored a grand total of 31 runs while Hamels has been in the game this season.

Against Jhoulys Chacin, who had thrown just 55 pitches through six innings, the Phils were one out away from getting shut out at Coors Field. The Phils scored two runs with two outs in the ninth.

Chacin limited the Phillies to three singles before the ninth inning. The Phils didn't have a baserunner advance beyond first base until Kevin Frandsen grounded into a fielder's choice to make the second out in the ninth to move Ben Revere to second.

The Phils avoided a shutout. But they also have scored three runs or fewer in six of their last eight games.

"It wasn't hard to figure out [Chacin]," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He was throwing first-pitch strikes . . . He was getting ahead of us and we were chasing balls out of the strike zone."

Hamels and Chacin were locked in a 1-0 game - Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario hit a solo homer to lead off the second - for the first two-thirds of the game.

But when the first two batters reached on an infield single and a bloop hit to rightfield, it felt like the beginning of many of the innings Hamels has endured in the first 3 months.

He executed pitches. The other team put the ball into play. And the hitters were simply luckier than the pitcher.

Hamels, who has been as unlucky in 2013 as he has been in any other season of his career, knows he can only control so much. And he knows he also can't control the strike zone.

After Carlos Gonzalez began the seventh with an infield single, Hamels had Michael Cuddyer buried in an 0-2 count and painted the insider corner on the third pitch.

Hudson called it a ball. Cuddyer hit a bloop double to right later in the at-bat.

Hamels thought he had the next batter out, too. But a 1-2 check swing from Rosario was also called a ball by Hudson.

As the inning careened out of his control, Hamels screamed into his glove and Manuel made a rare visit to the mound for the opportunity to chew out the home plate umpire, too.

Although Hamels regained his composure, his manager backed his pitcher showing emotion.

"I would get frustrated [if it was me out there]," Manuel said. "I might get thrown out of some games. Why would you want to be an easy loser? Do you want to compete and not get mad? What's wrong with competing and being totally mad and totally in it? Hey, he gets upset because he's trying hard and he wants things to go his way."

Phillers

Ben Revere's ninth inning single extended his hitting streak to seven games. Revere is hitting .438 (14-for-32) in the streak. In 41 games since May 1, Revere is hitting .321 (42-for-131) with a .360 on-base percentage . . . Carlos Ruiz (right hamstring strain) made his second straight minor league rehab start at Triple A Lehigh Valley. Ruiz went 1-for-3 with a run scored. He was scheduled to continue his rehab with Double A Reading this week and he'll likely rejoin the Phils before the weekend . . . John Lannan will make his first start since April 17 tonight against the Washington Nationals. Lannan began his career with Washington but had an ugly exit, getting bounced from the rotation and sent to Triple A before the beginning of the 2012 season. Lannan was non-tendered by Washington this winter and signed a 1-year, $2.5 million deal with the Phils in December. Lannan, who missed the last 2 months with a left knee injury, will be activated prior to today's game . . . Domonic Brown was 14th among National League outfielders when the latest round of All-Star voting results were released last night. Brown has 837,748 votes. The only other Phillies player on the balloting result was Chase Utley, who ranks fourth among second basemen.


On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

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