By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report
After the Phillies toughed out a four-hour and 24-minute marathon of a 4-3 win in 11 innings over the Cincinnati Reds at Citizen’s Bank Park, Phils manager Charlie Manuel had the tired look of a guy who had gone 12 rounds with the heavyweight champ.
“I feel like I been in a fight and lost,” Manuel said with a smile. “I feel drained, I kept waiting for somebody to come home. We actually worked (starting pitcher Johnny) Cueto and made him pitch and ran his pitch count up. We just couldn’t get a hit to put us over the hump until the end there. ”
After blowing an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies won the game on an RBI single by centerfielder John Mayberry Jr. that scored second baseman Chase Utley.
In a game that was supposed to be a duel between two of the National League’s best pitchers with lefty Cole Hamels (14-6) and the Reds right-handed ace Cueto (16-6). Both pitchers did well enough to keep their respective teams in the game.
Hamels pitched six innings and gave up three runs on six hits with four strikeouts and three walks. He threw 108 pitches. But the Phillies southpaw seemed to be a prickly, if not slightly unnerved, about the heavy rainstorm that hit the ballpark in the early innings.
“The only thing I was really frustrated about was having to start the game in the rain,” Hamels told reporters after the game. “I’ve seen it numerous times. I think Cliff (Lee) gets stuck with it a little more than I do. I understand the whole premise of anger behind it. I don’t think it should ever happened.
“I think we have these things called radar detectors and if you can’t read them correctly, I don’t what’s going on. It’s not fair to both teams. For Cueto and I, we’re obviously pitching really well. We want to continue to pitch well. Obviously, you have to go through the elements, but you have to make it fair as possible. I don’t think the situation was very good, but I gotta go pitch.”
When you’re making $144 million, what’s a little falling rain on your head? Hamels critics will no doubt have a field day with him and will likely brand him to be as a whiny, bratty spoiled millionaire.
It wasn’t like Hamels melted way like the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz. He allowed a one run in the first inning and two more runs in the sixth inning as the Reds took what appeared to be an insurmountable 3-0 lead for the Reds given how the Phillies struggle to get hits off Cueto until the sixth inning.
For the Reds, Cueto pitched five innings plus two men in the sixth inning. He allowed two runs on five hits and threw 111 pitches.
The Phillies got on the board with a pair of sacrifice flies by Eric Kratz and Laynce Nix that scored first baseman Ryan Howard and rightfielder Domonic Brown to cut the Reds lead to 3-2. The Phils would ultimately tie the game in the eighth inning on sacrifice fly by shortstop Jimmy Rollins to short left center that scored Brown, who was 2-for-6 with three runs scored.