Friday, August 29, 2008

Legends of the Fall

Game 134 - Phillies
Cubs 6, Phils 4

Record: 73 wins, 61 losses - 2nd place 1GB NYM

There will be no fall so long as this type of thing continues:

Hamels allowed one run on five hits in seven innings. But he threw 108 pitches on a muggy night, and Charlie Manuel said that after conferring with pitching coach Rich Dubee, it was determined that Hamels had all but exhausted himself.

- From David Murphy's (Philadelphia Daily News) coverage of last night's game at Wrigley Field where the Phils' bullpen hemorrhaged 5 runs in the 8th inning and turned a 4-1 lead into a 6 - 4 loss.

What's my problem? Well anecdotally speaking of course, since me memory's a bit weak - I don't see Steve Carlton coming out of a similar game in 1980 or 1983. Granted, Hamels is not yet Steve Carlton - at least not in terms of Lefty's accomplishments - but he is a dominant pitcher this year and THE ACE of this staff. He's also only 23 years old and appears to be in great shape. You're telling me he's gassed because he threw 108 pitches in 7 innings and that means he is less a pitcher than anyone in the tired and worn out bullpen? Horse hockey!

One more inning. That is all I was asking. One more lousy inning! At least give Hamels a shot at it. It was his game to lose. He held the mighty Cubbies to 1 run on 5 hits! The offense managed to plate 4 runs off of the resurgent Ryan Dempster. Don't give me that "he was spent"crap.

Thing is, last night's tilt at venerable Wrigley could have been one for the ages. Sometime in the coming winter months, in the gloaming of a Wednesday in mid-January, we could have looked back on August 28th, 2008 and marveled how Cole Hamels' heroic effort in the hot and soupy Chicago summer evening elevated the Phils to a first place tie with the Mets and from there, they never looked back.

Perhaps Uncle Cholly and Rich "Scooby" Dubee are wiser than I. We may need to conserve our ace because after all, if we plan to finish in second place for the next 7 years, we will need a healthy Hamels to do it.

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