--LHP Cole Hamels had a forgettable first start of the 2011 season. The 27-year-old lasted just 2 2/3 innings in a 7-1 defeat to the New York Mets.
Hamels faced 10 batters in a nightmarish third inning that saw New York pile up seven runs on six hits. The six earned runs were the most Hamels had allowed in an inning in his five-plus seasons in the major leagues.
"I wasn't getting ahead of guys, I wasn't getting really good control on my fastball and then everything kind of strayed away from there," Hamels said. "I thought I made some really good pitches to a couple of the hitters, but unfortunately they were able to put the bat on the ball and find the hole. That's the tough part about baseball. You can only affect so much and try to make the right pitch."
Both manager Charlie Manuel and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. also value the leadership abilities Utley brings to the team on a day-to-day basis.
"His presence is helpful," Amaro said. "He's really supportive of the club. The players respect him. He might be able to spread some knowledge about the opponents that we're playing
--1B Ryan Howard's modest three-game hitting streak came to an end in the Phillies 7-1 loss to the New York Mets on Tuesday. Howard, who was 7-for-13 in the season-opening series against the Astros, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Tuesday night.
Even after the 0-for, Howard is still hitting .412 through four games.
"He's been patient and he's been working on getting good balls to hit," manager Charlie Manuel said of Howard's approach.
--RHP Joe Blanton will finish the first turn of the Phillies rotation when he takes the mound Wednesday night against the Mets. Of teams he's faced at least six times, Blanton hasn't had success against any team as much as he's had against the Mets.
Blanton is 3-1 with a 2.64 ERA in seven career starts against New York. He was 1-1 with a 4.19 ERA in three starts vs. the Mets in 2010.
--CF Shane Victorino returned to the lineup after being held out of Sunday's starting nine with a left calf injury. Victorino is healthy, but had an unproductive night at the plate.
Victorino went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. The new leadoff hitter with Jimmy Rollins filling in the three-hole in the absence of Chase Utley, Victorino has a team-low .214 on-base percentage through four games.
BY THE NUMBERS
6 -- Runs Cole Hamels allowed in the third inning. It was the most earned runs he had ever given up in an inning in five-plus big league seasons. Hamels gave up nine runs in an inning to the Atlanta Braves on July 26, 2008, but only four of those runs were earned.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"It's tough for everybody when you've got that situation and the weather's like this. It was real cold. It was a tough day. He'll be OK. It's the first game." -- C Carlos Ruiz, after pitcher and battery mate Cole Hamels was battered for six runs in 2 2/3 innings on a wind-chilled night.
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