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Phils Beat Twins in ‘OMG-What-Are-They-Doing?’ Fashion

Jun 14, 2012, 3:31 AM EDT

The Phillies won a wild one in Minnesota, holding on to beat the Twins 9-8 on Wednesday.

The Phillies led 6-0 after the first inning, then 9-3 after the fourth. 9-8 was your final. Why does winning have to feel so much like losing?

Okay, we’ll try to tone down the negativity for this one. After all, when the team is 2-9 in their last 11, there really is no need to pile on. Then again, I guess that’s sort of piling on just saying that.

Let’s face it: other than the first hour or so, this was nerve-racking to behold. As a seeming sure victory appeared to be slipping through the Fightins’ grasp, Chris Wheeler remarked during the broadcast it was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Somehow, thankfully, they held on long enough for Jon Papelbon to come in for the four-out save, but that, and they actually won for a change were a pair of the only bright spots.

Look no further than the nine runs. Before we go patting the offense on the back, Minnesota starter P.J. Walters was not himself. A questionable Major League talent to begin with, Walters was completely ineffective Wednesday night, and as it turned out, that’s because he was injured.

Walters never recorded an out, and faced just four batters before they decided he just didn’t have it. That was plenty for a head start. Walters was charged with four earned runs, and replacement Jeff Manship ceded two more he could stopped the bleeding.

As the Inq’s Matt Gelb tweeted at the time, the Phillies had finally caught a break. Funny, I thought they had caught a break when Jake Arrieta or Tommy Hunter were on the mound for Baltimore, or Nick Blackburn for Minny last night. It’s only a break for the Phillies when the other team’s mediocre guy is already hurt before he throws the first pitch.

Despite the fact that nobody entered the game with an ERA below 5.00 for the Twins until the ninth inning, the Phils would manage just three more runs, so let’s move on to part two of this rant-cap: Cole Hamels.

For a hurler who wants seven years and the world, Hamels sure isn’t performing like somebody who deserves it. Sure, he picked up the win — his ninth of the season — but for the fourth consecutive outing, Cole looked anything like the dominant free-agent-to-be who supposedly should command record-breaking figures on the market.

Hamels entered the seventh inning with four runs under his belt. Before he came out, he was ultimately charged with three more — six earned altogether — with no more putouts. After some trouble of his own, Antonio Bastardo finally got out of the jam, but by then the Phils’ lead was cut to one, and Hamels still looked bad.

Oh, and there were the usual defensive miscues and base-running errors to go along with the rest of the disappointment. Wouldn’t want to leave anything out, right? Yet the Phillies won for the second time in 12 days. Probably a good thing, too, because losing this one might have felt like the point of no return.

Reel us back in, guys. Reel us back in…