Ryan Spilborghs snapped Cole Hamels’ streak of 13 straight outs with a walk. Spilborghs is another difficult name to spell. Not as bad as Tulowitzki, but Spilborghs… what is that?
Of course a dude named “Finger" is making fun of guys named Tulowitzki, Zolecki and Spilborghs.
Anyway, Hamels recovered from the walk to retire the next two hitters on a lazy fly to right, and a bouncing ball into the hole behind first that Chase Utley neatly fielded and flipped to Ryan Howard at first.
He might not be hitting, but he’s helping with the glove.
But at the 115-pitch mark, Charlie Manuel headed for the mound in his familiar gait, said a few words to his lefty and then raised his right hand to signal for reliever Tom Gordon. That’s a wrap on Cole Hamels:
6 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 7 K on 115 pitches – 72 strikes
It didn’t seem as if Hamels was too pleased about leaving the game trailing by a run since he didn’t acknowledge the big cheers he received as he walked off.
Gordon entered and whiffed Kaz Matsui to end the eighth, while J.C. Romero and Kyle Lohse warmed in the ‘pen.
Here’s a new one… Jeff Francis took the mound to start the seventh, warmed up and then when Pat Burrell was announced as the hitter, Clint Hurdle walked to the mound and called for a reliever.
Perhaps LaTroy Hawkins needed some extra time getting loose?
Be that as it may, the best managerial move ever was pulled by Frank Robinson of the Nationals when he called in a relief pitcher, ordered him to issue an intentional walk and then pulled him out of the game. If I recall correctly the pitcher was Joey Eischen. He’s the intentional walk specialist.
Greg Dobbs was the Phillies walk specialist in the bottom of the seventh when he drew a one-out walk and then exited for pinch-running specialist, Michael Born. But a hot-shot grounder to second baseman Kaz Matsui was deftly turned into a 4-6-3 double play.
Remember when Kaz Matsui was with the Mets and was supposed to be the second-coming of Ichiro and Hideki Matsui? In fact, the Mets stuck with Matsui at short and moved Jose Reyes to second before learning (quickly) that they were better off the other way around.
Then they were better off without Matsui.
But Matsui is in the playoffs in 2007 and the Mets are not.