A night after former Phillie Brett Myers topped former Astro Roy Oswalt, former Phillie JA Happ beat Cole Hamels. After a loss to close out the series in Milwaukee, tonight's 5-2 defeat at the hands of Wade's Boys marks the first time the Phillies have lost three straight since early June.
However, we're reasonably certain the end is not, in fact, nigh, preferring instead to believe in both the sizable lead the Phillies have in the division and the wild card, as well as the line of humor we look so forward to on occasions like these, championed by a Mr. FanSince09. Not long ago, a trip to the playoffs was astonishing. Now, for better and occasionally for worse, the postseason expected. On the "better" side, we've come to understand that a great team losing three straight, two of which are to a team 35 games out of first place, probably means very little, if not nothing.
In a way, it's almost more comforting that the last two losses have come to the Astros, rather than one of the two current playoff teams the Phillies dispatched just before losing their last three. It's a reminder that while this is really happening, it's not the reality of this team.
Don't tell that to Charlie Manuel though. While we can and should turn the page, it's the skipper's job to get the Phils back on the train. Apparently he read them the riot act after tonight's loss.
As for the game itself, Jim Salisbury called it Hamels' worst start in two months, as Cole was charged with all five runs. David Hale has video of Cole after the game, saying it's possible the last-place Astros, particularly those who used to be Phillies, had some more motivation than the current Phils.
For some reason, the Astros just have a way of getting to the Phillies when this time of year rolls around.
Interestingly, former Astro Hunter Pence gave his previous fanbase a little taste of what they've been missing, homering in the fourth inning. The homer was the 20th of the season for Pence and ninth since joining the Phils on July 29th. Carlos Ruiz also homered, though his was the only run to cross the plate in the Phils' ninth inning comeback effort.
One other former Phillie note, again per Sully: Jason Michaels broke his hand and will miss the the remainder of the season.
One more game in Houston, tomorrow at 2:05. Despite all of the above, if the Phils get swept, it'll be someone else's turn to play the "NBD" card while I take my turn going Madson on an office chair.
Photo: Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE