Streak against Phillies ends in shutout loss




Philadelphia – The same reason the Braves have been good for the last month or so is the same reason they’ve been so good lately against the Phillies – strong starting pitching.

They’d won seven in a row against the Phillies – their longest streak since shortly after the Olympics left Atlanta in 1996 – by getting seven wins from their starting pitchers. But Mike Minor couldn’t keep pace with what the Phillies had going in that department Tuesday night.

Cole Hamels pitched a complete-game shutout, which made Mike Minor’s three-run first inning loom large in a 3-0 loss.

“When you let (Hamels) get that far out in front of you, it puts a lot of pressure on the offense to try to string things together because he doesn’t give up a lot of homers,” said Chipper Jones, who had one of the five hits – all singles – off Hamels. “And tonight he didn’t give up too many singles either.”

The Braves dropped to 8-3 against the Phillies this season and lost for only the third time in their past 14 games.

Minor pitched six shutout innings after the first for a quality start but took only his second loss in seven starts since June 24. He has quality starts in five of his past six starts and the only exception was his last time out when a rain delay limited him to 3 2/3 innings.

But Minor said afterward he never felt like he had good command of his fastball.

“If somebody didn’t watch the game they would say ‘Hey, you did pretty well tonight,’” said Minor, now 6-8 with a 4.95 ERA. “But obviously if you watched the pitch location, I really didn’t have a whole lot tonight. I just tried to battle.”

Hamels didn’t have to do much of that. He faced the minimum through the first six innings and only two over on the night. He used his fifth career shutout, and second against the Braves (the first coming May 15, 2008), to snap the Phillies’ longest losing streak to the Braves they dropped nine in a row from Aug. 15, 1996 to July 14, 1997.

The Braves were shut out for the ninth time this season and second time by the Phillies. Joe Blanton, who’s now with the Dodgers, pitched a complete game shutout on May 3 at Turner Field, the last time the Braves lost to the Phillies before Tuesday.

Hamels walked a career-high six to take a loss the last time he faced the Braves July 27 at Turner Field. He made it only five innings on 109 pitches that night. This time he threw only two pitches more (111) in nine innings. He also didn’t walk a batter.

“You get the umpires that are a little more generous, it makes it a little easier on the pitcher,” Jones said. “But he had way better command tonight than he did in Atlanta.”

Michael Bourn dragged a bunt for a base hit to lead off the seventh, but he was stranded there. Singles by Jones (second) and Freddie Freeman (eighth) were both erased by double plays, and Brian McCann ended the fifth by getting thrown out at second base trying to stretch a single into a double.

“It was one of those nights,” Jones said. “Guy makes a lot of money for a reason. He’s pretty good.”

Minor helped set the tone for the Braves’ 18-8 July by going 2-1 with a 1.98 ERA in four starts, including a dominant eight innings against the Phillies on July 28. But he wasn’t quite the same pitcher Tuesday. Minor gave up as many hits (four) to the first seven batters Tuesday as he had in those eight innings prior.

Jimmy Rollins and Domonic Brown hit back-to-back doubles to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead to start the game. Then Ryan Howard followed with a two-run home run, his fifth in 25 games back from the disabled list.

Minor threw his fourth slider in five pitches to Howard and this time hung it. Before that swing, the Braves had kept Howard in check at 3-for-23 since his return from his Achilles injury a month ago.

“The last time I faced them, I threw him a lot of sliders and fastballs away and it was like he was guessing the whole time,” Minor said. “Even if I threw one over the middle of the plate, he either fouled it off or didn’t really get a good read on it. (But) obviously he was looking for that one, he stayed back and hit it to the opposite field.”

61 comments Add your comment

Brandon

August 7th, 2012
9:27 pm

Hamels was on tonight. Tough loss. Time to cheer for the ‘Stros

Brave Decisions

August 7th, 2012
9:28 pm

Ohh well, an ace threw a gem. Fine. http://wp.me/p2lqJ1-bU

Clayton

August 7th, 2012
9:30 pm

It wasn’t minor this time. It was just great pitching by Hamels to keep the hitters off balance. Oh well, those nights are going to happen. Take your licks and move on to tomorrow for the series win.

Larry

August 7th, 2012
9:35 pm

double

August 7th, 2012
9:36 pm

Errors & Excuses,and excellent pitching from the Phils.Plus those Amish made bats.

OTP

August 7th, 2012
9:40 pm

How can you say it was not Minor? Let’s say he did not give up the 3 earned runs. They would still be playing.

David Puddy

August 7th, 2012
9:40 pm

Looks like Frank and Fredi need to go.

Ken Stallings

August 7th, 2012
9:40 pm

Minor pitched well. In many ways I liked seeing this recovery more than if he pitched six shutdown innings and surrendered three in the seventh. This shows that Minor is developing the mental toughness to settle down and limit the damage. He gave the team every chance, but Cole Hamels did a lot better. Tonight, he was dominating.

Get ‘em tomorrow night, boys!

john doe

August 7th, 2012
9:44 pm

Yeah Phillies, be a spoiler.

BravesfaninWisc

August 7th, 2012
9:44 pm

what a pathetic game
against the phillies no less.
this team really sucks
follow it up with another loss tomorrow
LOSERS

Largo

August 7th, 2012
9:44 pm

Damn, I hate it when we lose the game in the first inning. . . in this case the first two batters won it. I turned off the game because with Hamels pitching, I figured (and rightly so) it was over.

kevkat

August 7th, 2012
9:45 pm

This time Freddie can honestly tip his cap..Hamels was terrific..just a tough loss..go get them tomorrow

BravesfaninWisc

August 7th, 2012
9:49 pm

I hate turtles,gators,and especially slack ajc writers who wont ask the tough questions

fredi u just gotta tip your hat to the other pitcher
minor i made 2 bad pitches and howard hit a hr
once again this pitcher has no clue how to get out of the 1st inning.
thanks minor for adding to the hrs u have given up
thata boy way to raise the era to over 6.00
nice to see u have pics on fredi why your lame @$$ has not been sent back to aaa

BravesfaninWisc

August 7th, 2012
9:53 pm

if hamels is such an ace,went 5 innings last time out
verlander went 65 starts with at least 6 innings before that streak ended

QUIT MAKING EXCUSES MINOR SUCKS

ERA OVER 6.00
BRAVES FANS ARE ON PEDS

ChipperisGod

August 7th, 2012
9:53 pm

Hey BravefaninWisc, come off it! Don’t get down our team like that. Hammels is a beast, we were outplayed tonight. Minor didn’t have his best stuff early, but looked good the rest of the way. Couldn’t get enough timely hitting tonight and that was the difference. We have a great chance to take the series tomorrow (which we should), and keep it rolling.

nc fan

August 7th, 2012
9:55 pm

see that the troll is back

wis fan only comes on here when the braves lose and talk shyt

nc fan

August 7th, 2012
9:56 pm

i didnt give up hope but the wsopoker was better watching

nc fan

August 7th, 2012
9:58 pm

tip your cap better team won tonight
i knew they lose tonight
hamels always has our number

fish bisch thanks for nothing

rhaiz r blaide

August 7th, 2012
10:01 pm

Despite tonights game where Hamels was tough we’ve done extremely well against the Phils…..However, it makes no difference how well we play now against them and how long of a streak we had it will never make up for last Sept. where we lost 6 games to them including the last 3 when they weren’t playing for anything…..Already had the division and homefield wrapped up and we couldn’t win O N E damn game!!!! N O T A S I N G L E O N E!!!!! That was pathetic…

bravefaninafghan

August 7th, 2012
10:07 pm

BravefaninWisc Minor pitched a helluva game tonight. the reason the braves lost tonight is that hamels was back to his usual dominating self. After the first Minor was just as good as hamels. The 6+ era that is coming from that stretch of starts early in the year. And Minor has been right behind Huddy in performance since the all-star break. If you think you can do a better job show up at a local high school and and tell them you want to face their three worst hitters and watch them go 3-3 against you.

Morris Code

August 7th, 2012
10:09 pm

gotta tip your hat to Cole tonight.

FG stinks

August 7th, 2012
10:11 pm

One thing about the Braves; they are consistantly inconsistant. Can never count on them to win. How badly have the announcers been berating the Phillies? But they beat us! Same thing with the Astros. Will hate to see us play a decent team. Sure glad they aren’t playing the Reds.

nc fan

August 7th, 2012
10:12 pm

no team is winning 6/10 games constantly on a weekly thing.

NO PROB

nc fan

August 7th, 2012
10:14 pm

YOU PEOPLE ARE PATHETIC
CHEER FOR THE FALCONS EXPECT TO GO 162-0

GO GET A LIFE

BRAVES LOSE

August 7th, 2012
10:15 pm

Enter your comments here

BRAVES LOSE

August 7th, 2012
10:16 pm

CARROLL SINE YOU KNOW HOW TO TELL A STORY

PLEASE ENLIGHTEN US ON HOW MANY TIMES BRAVES HAVE SCORED 2 RUNS OR LESS AND LOST

BRAVES LOSE

August 7th, 2012
10:17 pm

WHERE R THE JHEY FANS AT?

MVP HUH?LOL

Harpie

August 7th, 2012
10:19 pm

Fredi sucks!

BrandonLee49

August 7th, 2012
10:22 pm

Cole Hamels, When he is On like tonight, it is his Showcase = Gooseeggs across the Opposing Line-up, he was frustrating Every single Brave, making them look silly more times than not…. Minor was Outdueled from the Gate, Mike did’nt turn in a bad effort, indeed after the 3 he let up in the First, He Mowed the Phillies down as Both Pitchers Settled into display of Lefthanded Craftmanship, that can hardley be argued. We shall hope for Better results tomorrow.

Ken Stallings

August 7th, 2012
10:25 pm

I think I saw our self-described Wisconsin “fan” on TV. He was one of those people yelling obscenities during the protests in the Wisconsin legislature. I guess he got tired of getting arrested by police and decided to troll here.

FG stinks

August 7th, 2012
10:26 pm

I think most of us think the same way you do, Harpie. But that isn’t going to change anything. For reasons unknown the Braves keep this worthless spineless know nothing. My only hope is they move Chipper in that spot next season. Until they send fredi packing, we will continue the way we are. Nowhere.

God's Word says...

August 7th, 2012
10:34 pm

Thanks, Carrol. I lked Minlr’s quote about “battling all night.” Sounds like a young Tom Glavine.

Hmmmm

August 7th, 2012
10:37 pm

reading the comments on here a lot of people didn’t watch the game ;)

“If somebody didn’t watch the game they would say ‘Hey, you did pretty well tonight,’”

Carroll Rogers

August 7th, 2012
10:43 pm

BRAVES LOSE, Braves are 4-31 when scoring two runs or fewer.

BrandonLee49

August 7th, 2012
10:50 pm

fyi: Ryan Dempster got the Win tonight for Texas, bascially because They outscored Boston’s anemic Pitching…. Dempster was Chased in the 7th on a 3 Run Homer by Boston’s Thirdbaseman; Middlebroooks. Texas Rangers just happened to Answer Boston’s Run Production with More Offense to Keep The Rangers on a Winning Skid, Familiar Territory for Texas. Not much to be impressed from by Dempster, except a warm body to fill a hole in the TexasStarting Rotation… GLAD The Braves did Not Hand the Cubs Half their Future for a Non impact Dempster.

TuffShhhtuff

August 7th, 2012
11:00 pm

Looks like the Astros blew a chance to break the tie in the bottom of the 9th with the Gnats. Going into extras tied 2-2 and will of course hand another to Wash. like they did last night. The Gnats know how to manufacture one run, which is something the Braves manager has never heard of.

sam

August 8th, 2012
6:08 am

Last night was a preview of the playoffs. Braves simply cannot compete against top tier pitching.

Wrecker

August 8th, 2012
6:13 am

Nationals are 8-23 when scoring 2 or less. The difference in their “low-run” record and the Braves’ is that the Nationals have only been shutout 4 times this year.

longtimefan

August 8th, 2012
6:44 am

Facts:
Braves are third in NL in batting(runs scored)
Braves are sixth in NL in pitching(ERA)
Braves are first in NL in defense(errors)
Braves are sixteenth in MLB in payroll
Branes have third best record in NL and fifth best in MLB
Looks to me like somebody(FW) has done a stellar job in finding value and somebodyFG) else has done a helluva job managing. Do some of you naysayers want to argue against the facts or do you just not like FWs hair or the fact that FGs second language might not be up to your high standards?

RBrave

August 8th, 2012
7:11 am

Can’t blame Minor on this one, either the lack of run support or the very good pitching by Hammels. Choose whichever fits your mood, but not a bad outing for the young pitcher in his first full year, what did he have after the first 6 shut out innings. He’s building. Not a Heyward fan but he has been playing much better later, he growing on me. Go Braves

Billy Brave

August 8th, 2012
7:22 am

You cant win a zero to zero game. This Braves team is a front runner. Minor pitched well enough to win. A good left hander will almost always beat this predominately left hitting bunch. Its time for the hitters to step up if they want to make the playoffs. Good teams find a way to win. Not so good teams cry about good pitching. Note that the Nats won two extra inning games. Point made.

Kashi

August 8th, 2012
8:09 am

If Hamels shut us then I smell NO playoff for Braves.

a fan

August 8th, 2012
8:17 am

Longtimefan; Amen brother.

daSarge

August 8th, 2012
8:27 am

Braves lose to teams they should beat while the Nats continue to win. No way the Braves catch the Nats and getting a wild card is not a sure thing either.

Winchester

August 8th, 2012
8:34 am

Some very interesting elements to last night’s game. Mike Minor’s role in the rotation as a productive starter is once again highlighted as a liability. Look at his stats. This experiment to “keep running him out there” is defeating the chances of team success. The Phillies feast on pitchers like Minor. Sitting on one’s hands during the off season relying on Minor experiments to help later on is wishful thinking. It is time for all the wishful thinkers to wake up. Cole Hamels is the real deal and that is why the Braves never seal the deal to winning.

Washington need not worry about the Braves. The Braves offense will guarantee subordinate ranking to any first place team. I wish the Braves all the best, but I am a realist. Wild card…maybe. Advancement beyond that is impractical at best.

Rick

August 8th, 2012
8:39 am

daSarge, the Braves just finished an 8-2 road trip against teams they should beat. Back to 4 games back now, but still a game up from where they were. What are you talking about?

Winchester, Mike could have pitched an inning less and it still would have been a quality start. Can’t win when you don’t score any runs. And the Braves’ offense is superior to the Nats’.

Rick

August 8th, 2012
8:40 am

*home stand, not road trip

Rick

August 8th, 2012
8:41 am

BravesfaninWisc, actually Minor’s ERA is under 5. Not over 6.

ATLNatsfan

August 8th, 2012
8:45 am

The Braves will still contend for the NL East. The Nats are just barely beating the most pathetic team in baseball, and have upcoming series with real baseball teams (D-backs and Giants). Braves will have the opportunity to make up ground with their series against the Mets and Padres.

The race will go into the last week of the season.

Davy Sprocket

August 8th, 2012
9:17 am

@Rick – I would not be so sure about the Braves offense being superior to the Nats. Washington has more HR, 2B (by a lot) , more total extra base hits (5 fewer triples) a higher batting average, higher slugging percentage. The Braves tied the Nats in batting average with the series against Houston (they were a coulpe of points behind before that series). They have a higher (by just 0.009) on-base percentage, and that gap is closing fast as the early-season struggles for Washington appear over, once they got a few guys back from injury. They have lost their starting catcher (plus 2nd, and 3rd, stringers for a long while); The lost starting CF/RF (Werth, hitting .300 this year) for 3 months, 2012 All-Star SS is out still (anonther month still); their 30HR/95RBI LF missed ultiple months (now back). Zimmerman at 3B missed over 6 weeks with a shoulder issue (back now). The only thing the Braves were better at in the early part of teh season was in getting walks, and this is eveining out (withness the OBP at .327 to .318). Washington has started 3 position players at a time on many occasions (Moore, Lombardozzi, Harper, primarily) nad have better pop off the bench – unless you are satisfied with the curent Braves bench? The total of 29 more Braves runs scored is quite small – one added run every 3.4 games – and shrinking. So, I do not agree with a blanket statement about the offenses.

Davy Sprocket

August 8th, 2012
9:19 am

Oops – meant three ROOKIES in teh field – Harper, Moore ad Lombardozzi. Sorry bout that.

GaryinBham

August 8th, 2012
10:05 am

Interesting that CNNSI headline about the game was not, “Phillies stop bleeding” or “Hamels Stops Losing Streak to Braves” but “Hamels tosses fifth career shutout as Phillies roll. Understand it may be a description of the game itself, but it is an odd description of a last place club 17 GB who just traded off 2/3 of their outfield and part of their pitching staff and is 5-5 in the last ten…

GaryinBham

August 8th, 2012
10:09 am

As far as the Nats, they are for real and their offense and starters are better than ours and their bullpen is really good. We have an advantage only in experience down the stretch, although last year is not a plus, but two years ago, we were there. Nothing quite like September. I think odds are against us winning division, though still possible. I think we have to worry about making that goofy one-game wild card carnival side show.

Pippa's hiney

August 8th, 2012
10:25 am

Braves ran into a great pitcher. That is all. Give it a rest, whiney babies.

BrandonLee49

August 8th, 2012
10:38 am

Hey DL Jones, Don’t be trying to Diss on your Own Pitcher saying because he put the ofense in the hole, You had too much Pressure on… Gimme a Break !!
Cole Hamels Mowed Everybody down last night… So Your Contribution of Goose Eggs on the Scoreboard wouldn’t have happened if the Phillies hadn’t Jumped out in Front by 3 lousy Runs .. (BS)… WHAT a LAME EXCUSE !!! Dumping-on-Minor is Not the Story of the game, anybody who watched saw ZERO After ZERO on the Scoreboard for Atlanta… Impossible to Win with ZERO’S from the Offense..

Pops

August 8th, 2012
11:06 am

@GaryinBham You are full of it. Nats are not better in any category. They are just LUCKY.

GaryinBham

August 8th, 2012
11:48 am

Pops, two meaningful stats stand out: we are 4-8 against them, and their ERA is half a run less than ours. That is not lucky. A ball bouncing off a rock is lucky. A four game lead this late in the season is not.

Brave New World

August 8th, 2012
11:56 am

Minor did not pitch poorly, Hamels pitched great. GO BRAVES!

Pops

August 8th, 2012
1:03 pm

Fact: They have won 19 games because of other peoples errors. They won 6 games on bad calls including 2 to braves. THAT IS LUCK. That is all they are,

[...] The Braves got shut out by Cole Hamels last night. It’s going to happen. But they’ve got to win the ones they figure to win, and that would be games like tonight when Tim Hudson (11-4, 3.45 ERA) faces Kyle Kendrick (4-9, 4.45) in the rubber game of this series. [...]

The Brave Californian

August 8th, 2012
2:02 pm

On the plus side: Washington won’t be playing the Astros anymore!

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