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05/22/07 11:42 PM ET
Phillies lose game in late innings
Late-inning double by Marlins leads to loss
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
MIAMI -- OK, OK. Cole Hamels is mortal. So is Aaron Rowand. The mere earthlings showed that in the sixth inning, when four extra-base hits -- including a misplayed fly ball that Rowand turned into a triple -- became a four-run Marlins' rally to upend the Phillies, 5-3, at Dolphin Stadium. The five runs allowed by Hamels equaled that of an April 14 outing against Houston, though the lefty won that game. Tuesday's effort prevented Hamels from becoming the National League's first seven-game winner, and the Phillies from reaching a winning record for the first time this season. "Five might be the lucky one," manager Charlie Manuel said, referring to the fact that Philadelphia has been at .500 four times this season, and lost the next game. "When you fall behind, you have to keep grinding it out." "When you lose a tough one like this, you dwell on it because you know you had it," Hamels said. They thought they had it because Jayson Werth pounded two home runs starting in place of Shane Victorino and because Hamels was working effectively through the first five innings, and was coming off a dominating effort against the Brewers. Add in the fact that the Phillies really, really really wanted to stick it to Scott Olsen. It was the left-hander who stoked the fire between the teams who, when the Phillies were contending for a Wild Card last September, saying, "I hate the Phillies, and I don't want to see them celebrating. They've been beating us up all year." "You're playing against a pitcher that's not on everybody's good side, and you want go out there and win as bad as anything," Hamels said. "When it's a guy who doesn't necessarily respect everyone on our team, it gives you a little more fuel to the fire," added Utley, who had his own battle with Olsen. Hamels entered the sixth inning leading 3-1, when Hanley Ramirez began the inning with a double and scored on Miguel Cabrera's triple that landed just over Aaron Rowand's glove in center field. Rowand felt the triple should've been scored an error on him, since he had taken a bad route to the ball. "I knew the ball was carrying well tonight," Rowand said. "The ball just took off. He hit a pitch on the outside corner, middle away and it looked like he hit it off the end of the bat. I ran over to catch it, and it kept going. I feel like it's my fault we lost this game. I'll take responsibility for it. I misjudged it, and didn't realize it was going as far as it did. "Knowing the way the ball was carrying tonight, I should have taken a deeper route to the ball. I didn't and missed it by about three or four inches." It didn't help matters when Chase Utley launched the relay throw past third baseman Abraham Nunez, Hamels and out of play. Cabrera scored to tie the score. Josh Willingham then doubled, but Hamels whiffed the next two batters. He intentionally walked Aaron Boone to bring up pitcher Olsen, but Marlins manager Freddi Gonzalez countered with Jason Wood, who doubled to nearly the same spot as Cabrera had, scoring both runners. While Rowand blamed himself for setting a bad precedent, Hamels slammed himself for throwing three high changeups. "A teammate can supposedly take responsibility, but I didn't get the pitches down in that inning," Hamels said. "I left three changeups up and that's not what you're supposed to do to get out of the inning unscathed. It's unfortunate [Cabrera's fly ball] was misplayed, but the wind took balls and it was real tough to play that. That's my fault." The Phillies couldn't do much else against Olsen, who survived six innings and allowed three runs. Kevin Gregg tossed the ninth inning for his fourth save in as many chances. The Olsen-Utley near confrontation revolved mostly around Olsen, who didn't take kindly to Utley calling time in the third inning as he was starting his windup. The lefty continued and delivered a pitch to the screen. "I threw to the screen on purpose because I didn't want to hurt anybody," Olsen said. "When I got in the box, as soon as I looked up, he was already in his motion," Utley said. "As a hitter, you want to be ready, and at that point you're not ready, so you call timeout. Most pitchers understand that." Olsen apparently didn't, and, when Utley looked in his direction after walking in the sixth, jawed at Utley. Not wanting to say anything specific, Olsen said, "I vent whenever I feel like it. It happened to be right there. I'm just glad we've got the win, the first game of the home stand, the first game of the series. We have a little winning streak here, and let's hope it carries over to tomorrow." Just like that, the Phillies have to win on Wednesday to have a fifth shot at reaching .500. "We have [to take advantage of] the opportunity the get out of the hole if we want to contend for the World Series," Hamels said. "When you have the breaks in front of you, you have to take them and run. You can't keep falling back in the hole."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.