Coming off a series split with the first-place Boston Red Sox, the Phillies had a few positives they could hang their hats on going forward. The biggest positive rested on the shoulders of Domonic Brown, who continues to swing a hot bat. Going into four straight series against last-place teams, the team certainly had the motivation it needed to win a majority of those games.
Tonight’s pitching matchup of Cole Hamels and Yovani Gallardo pitted players with similar seasons, and careers, against one another. While Hamels has been a bit more reliable than Gallardo, both players have been vital to their team’s individual success in recent seasons. However, neither guy has been able to reach those same numbers in 2013, combining for a 4-13 record.
Cole Hamels began the game well, tossing a perfect first inning. The Phillies would begin their offense with two quick outs. Jimmy Rollins would knock a two out single, followed by a steal of second. Ryan Howard worked a walk, which set Domonic Brown up for success. His 14th homerun of the season put the Phillies up 3-0 on the Brewers.
The shutout would not last long. After he was hit by a pitch, Carlos Gomez was able to steal second and move to third on a Humberto Quientero errant throw. Jonathan Lucroy brought home the first Brewer run with a double to right. Sort-of former Phillie Yunieski Betancourt singled, and Jeff Bianchi grounded to short to score Lucroy and bring the score to within one.
Freddy Galvis doubled in the second, but nothing came of it. Things got carried away in the bottom of the inning when balls begin to find the smallest places on the field. Three straight cheap hits netted a third run for the Brew Crew. Carlos Gomez hit a sac fly, and Lucroy and Betancourt both singles to double their run total. 6-3 Brewers.
Jimmy Rollins lead off the fourth with a homerun to put the score at 6-4. Lucroy answered in the fifth with a solo homerun of his own. 7-4 Brewers.
Tying Miguel Cabrera for the second most homeruns in the majors, Dom Brown hit another bomb to right field. He is the first Phillies to hit 12 homeruns in a month since Mike Schmidt. Impressive, to say the least. 7-5 Brewers.
Jonathan Lucroy sealed the deal for Milwaukee with his fifth hit, and second homerun, of the night. Familiar foe Francisco Rodriguez closed out the night and the Brewers secured the first game of the series.
Offensively, the Phillies looked decent. Domonic Brown is absolutely mashing the ball, well on his way to an All-Star appearance. The problem came from Cole Hamels’ performance. Little bloop hits now and again severely hurt the lefty, and he was never able to recover. Concern must now loom in the minds of fans and coaches on Hamels’ mental health after such a disappointing start.
Wily Peralta and Tyler Cloyd take the mound in Saturday’s afternoon matchup. Both are coming off shaky outings and will be looking to recover.