The rejuvenated lefthander held the Mets to five hits in eight innings despite being pelted with a David Wright line drive in the fourth inning, but knuckleballer R.A. Dickey confounded the Phillies and handed them a 1-0 loss.
The Phillies have yet to score a run in four games at Citi Field this season. During a late May three-game sweep in the Big Apple, they were outscored by the Mets, 16-0. Last night, they managed just one hit, a single by Hamels in the sixth, to give the Phillies one of their two baserunners.
They are now 64-52, three games behind the Braves in the NL East.
“I can’t do anything else,” said Hamels, who fell to 7-9 but shrugged off the poor run support he has received this season. “I’m going to try to go out there and pitch every inning, every hitter as best as I possibly can and try and go as deep as I possibly can and minimize the damage.”
For Hamels, it was the second straight start in which the Phillies lost 1-0 to the Mets. Last Saturday at Citizens Bank Park, he held them to six hits with 11 strikeouts in seven innings, allowing the game’s one and only run on a home run by Jeff Francoeur to lead off the seventh.
Last night, the decisive run came in the sixth, as Wright doubled over Shane Victorino’s head in centerfield, then scored on a double by Carlos Beltran.
Victorino said that he could have made the catch on Wright’s double had he read the ball perfectly. Instead, he ran to a spot about a foot in front of the ideal location.
“It beat me,” said Victorino, making his first start since being activated from a 15-day stay on the disabled list with an abdominal strain. “It beat me. Went over my head. Plain and simple.”
One of the longer instant replay reviews you will sit through occurred in the fifth inning, after the Mets’ Mike Hessman hit a long fly ball off the top of the wall in leftfield. The ball, which hit off a railing but above the orange line that serves as the park’s official boundary, was initially ruled a home run.
But Phillies leftfielder Raul Ibanez immediately protested the call, saying a fan had leaned over the railing and interfered with the ball. TV replays supported this argument, although the ball looked like it would have been a home run even without help. Nevertheless, the umpires called Hessman out of the dugout and put him on third base, where he watched as Hamels struck out Francoeur and Henry Blanco, then intentionally walked Ruben Tejada before getting Dickey to ground out to the mound.
The review delay lasted 6 minutes, 35 seconds, which was more time than the Phillies spent on the basepaths. Last weekend, they scored six runs in three innings off Dickey in a 6-5 win. Last night, they struck out seven times and managed one hit.
“He pitched real good. He pitched a better game than over at home the other day,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “The other day his ball was up. Tonight, he had more balls down. His knuckleball was moving a lot better, too. We weren’t getting real good passes at him.””
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