Hamels brilliant, but Phils' bats quieted
Ace lefty gives up just one run, while Philly is limited to one hit
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies pounded their way to the 2007 playoffs on the strength of their potent offense.While they hoped to balance that attack with improved pitching in 2008, the players know the lumber remains paramount. So you can imagine the look on center fielder Shane Victorino's face after that vaunted offense was one-hit for the first time since July 2, 2003, in losing to the visiting Nationals, 1-0, on Wednesday night. Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell are the only current Phils who played on that '03 team, which fell to the Cubs' Matt Clement in the final year of Veterans Stadium. "I'm speechless about what happened to us tonight," Victorino said. "To score that many runs last season and get shut out in the second game of the season. ... The one hit is more frustrating than anything. Our offense didn't do what we're supposed to do." Frustrating, too, was the knowledge that Cole Hamels did what was typical of him, dominate. The confident lefty shackled the Nationals on five hits through eight innings and retired 20 of 23 at one point. One of the three hits he allowed during that span -- a solo home run that Ryan Zimmerman nestled just over the right-field fence -- was enough. "I thought it was going to be on the warning track," right fielder Geoff Jenkins said. "I don't know if the wind changed or what, but it was kind of pushed out the yard. I didn't think it was going." Tim Redding didn't get the memo about the Phillies' dangerous bats, or didn't bother to read it. He also paid no attention to his career 8-23 road record with a 5.66 ERA. He joined teammate Odalis Perez as the only opponents to beat the Phillies, 1-0, at their house. Perez did it on July 21, 2005. Philadelphia won the only other 1-0 game at Citizens Bank Park, beating the Nationals with a ninth-inning run on July 9, 2005. In falling to 0-2, the team squandered a brilliant effort from their ace left-hander. "That's the only thing that's frustrating about tonight," Rollins said. "You know you're going to win some and lose some, but to get a performance like that from Cole, and you don't find a way to score, it's a wasted effort." Redding gobbled up the Phillies, not allowing any of the four baserunners -- one hit and three walks -- to second base. Pedro Feliz staved off the team getting no-hit by rolling a single to left field in the second. "It was one of those nights," Feliz said. Hamels (0-1) began the game by allowing a single to Cristian Guzman and walking Lastings Milledge, but escaped a two-out, bases-loaded situation. Zimmerman flew out deep to left field in that frame, but made up for that with a solo shot to right leading off the sixth. Zimmerman also turned in a sterling defensive play in the seventh, starting a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. "Bad night for us," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Any time you get a game pitched like that [by Hamels], you want to win." "The thing that hurts is Cole did such a great job," added Jenkins. "We just didn't do anything behind him."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.