Cole Hamels looked as cold as the windy night air in his first first start of the 2011 season.
Hamels (0-1) struggled Tuesday, allowing six runs in just 2 2/3 innings pitched. The Phillies (3-1) went on to lose 7-1 to the rival Mets (3-1).
The Phillies’ fourth ace was in trouble immediately, allowing a lead-off single to Jose Reyes and then plunking Angel Pagan with a pitch. Hamels appeared to have settled in when he retired the next five batters in order, but disaster was just around the corner.
Hamels was hit for six singles, six runs, and walked two on 40 pitches in the third inning before being replaced by long-reliever Kyle Kendrick. It was only the fifth time in his career that he pitched less than three innings in a start. With the loss, Hamels is now 2-9 lifetime versus the dreaded Mets.
The Phillies tried to rally, but failed behind Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino’s three strikeouts a piece. The Phightins had nine players left on base in the game and were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position -- something they did really well over the weekend against Houston.
Hamels is no stranger to being left hanging by the Phillies lagging offense. The club was shut out three times by the Mets with Hamels on the mound in 2010.
Placido Polanco drove in the lone run of the game with the Phillies only extra base hit of the evening, and Raul Ibanez showed some life going 2-for-4 despite a fielding attempt that had him turned around in the third inning. Ben Francisco hammered two balls to deep left field that were knocked down by the wind, but would have easily been home runs on a muggy summer evening.
Jimmy Rollins played some small ball, laying down a bunt single, stealing a base and drawing a walk to round out his evening.
The most impressive offensive showing of the evening came from Mets pitcher Chris Young, who went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Despite the rocky start by Hamels, the relievers did a respectable job holding the Mets to just one run for the duration of the game. J.C. Romero, Danys Baez and Antonio Bastardo combined for a solid effort allowing just two hits, striking out two and walking none in the last three innings of the game.
Joe Blanton faces Mike Pelfrey and the Mets Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.