Hamels stellar again but Phils fall in 11 innings

Carlos Ruiz homered in the seventh inning to tie the score and save Cole Hamels from a frustrating loss. RICH SCHULTZ / Getty
Carlos Ruiz homered in the seventh inning to tie the score and save Cole Hamels from a frustrating loss. RICH SCHULTZ / Getty
Posted: August 11, 2014

As Charlie Manuel charmed one of the larger 2014 crowds Saturday at Citizens Bank Park, the former manager motioned toward the home dugout. He transferred the honor bestowed upon him to the men who performed for him.

"I had quite a few great players," Manuel said before a 2-1 Phillies loss to the Mets in 11 innings. "A lot of them are standing in the dugout."

That, of course, is a subject of frustration for Phillies fans. Many players from the franchise's past success now generate consternation in the twilight of their careers. Cole Hamels is excluded. When he pitches, the anger is suspended.


Hamels fired seven more stellar innings, but that was not enough to avoid another night of extra innings. Antonio Bastardo permitted an 11th-inning run for the loss. Hamels received a no-decision because his teammates provided little support and Domonic Brown could not snare a shallow fly ball to left field.

Carlos Ruiz tied the game in the seventh with a solo homer, his first since June 7. The rest of the Phillies offense slept.

Hamels, pitching better than ever, has a 2.37 ERA this season. That ranks fourth in the National League behind Clayton Kershaw (1.82), Johnny Cueto (2.04), and Adam Wainwright (2.28).

The lefthander pitched seven or more innings and allowed one or no runs in each of his last five starts. No Phillies pitcher has had a longer such streak since Steve Carlton, who did it in six straight starts during his memorable 1972 season. Hamels' ERA in those five starts is 0.73.

"He's on a terrific run," Ryne Sandberg said. "He goes out and just pitches his tail off. He is very consistent. He had good stuff again."

New York scored in the fifth. Lucas Duda singled to center and moved to second on a passed ball. Juan Lagares skied a Hamels change-up to shallow left. Brown, who started for the first time in nine games, froze and broke too late. He almost collided with shortstop Jimmy Rollins. That loaded the bases. Sandberg did not fault Brown for his slow read.

"A little bit, but he did get to it," Sandberg said. "It was in his glove."

A Wilmer Flores groundout scored Duda. Later, in the 11th, the night of nostalgia was ruined.

"Yeah, 2008 was a long time ago," Hamels said. "As Charlie said, it went by quick. I don't think you get to really cherish it as much because that's all you want to do and that's all you're focused on.

"I don't think we're able to understand what we accomplished until it's gone and you aren't winning as much as you'd like. Then you start to feel how fortunate you were. You search for how to get it back."

Extra bases

Brown started for the first time in nine games. Sandberg said the move helped keep Grady Sizemore, who pinch-hit and grounded out, fresh. . . . Darin Ruf has just 11 plate appearances in the last 12 games. He pinch-hit in the 10th and grounded out. . . . Sean O'Sullivan will stay in the rotation as the fifth starter. His next turn is Tuesday in California against Mike Trout and the Angels.


@MattGelb www.inquirer.com/


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