Hamels threw 15 of 26 first-pitch strikes and had a three-ball count on two hitters. Six times, he got ahead 0-2. He showed his mettle in his seventh and final inning. After nearly slipping while fielding a Craig Wilson grounder to the third-base side of the mound, he faced a second and third situation with two outs.With first base open and the opposing pitcher, Tim Hudson, on deck, manager Charlie Manuel raced out to discuss the strategy regarding Matt Diaz. Hamels convinced Manuel to let him attack Diaz, and needed one pitch to induce a groundout to third. "I was about to get out of that jam," he said. "This was a tough [one]." Tougher than most? "Right now, with the way we feel about ourselves, any loss is a tough loss," Gordon said. "We've only played two games at the beginning of the season, but they were games we felt we should've won. These are tough games to bite on. We have to get prepared for [Thursday's] game." Catcher Carlos Ruiz, making his first start of the season, provided the first run with a two-out homer in the fifth off Hudson. Atlanta's right-hander was nearly as brilliant as Hamels, allowing two hits and one run over seven innings. Philadelphia scored a second run in the eighth off reliever Mike Gonzalez, but missed a key opportunity to add more. Victorino sliced a double to score Jimmy Rollins, who walked, stole second and went to third on McCann's throwing error. Noticing that Gonzalez was paying little attention to him, Victorino took off for third and was gunned down by McCann. With Ryan Howard at the plate and Victorino already in scoring position, Manuel wished Victorino would've stayed at second. He would've scored on a two-out double by Chase Utley and given the Phillies a third run. "Terrible," Manuel said. "Bad play. I told him after the game, the only way he should possibly steal third base is if he's standing up, but at the same time, he shouldn't go." "I'm not very happy about it," Victorino said. "I look like the bad guy here. That's what it seems like. I wanted to be aggressive. If I steal the bag, I look like the hero, or it looks better. I came up short. Charlie didn't want me to go. Obviously, I know that now."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.