Kyle Lohse could have been a Phillie this season, but what he is is an underpaid starter for the Cards. Lohse shut down the Phils for five innings last night and the Cards beat the Phils with the help of a three-run bomb by Joe Mather and a pair of home runs from Ryan Ludwick.

Not having Lohse is unfortunate for the Phils, but they apparently have bigger and more immediate problems. Cole Hamels doesn’t have a broken arm, but he does have two bad starts in a row now. And a lot of people have a bad feeling that all the innings the 24-year-old has thrown this season might have caught up to him. Hamels is second in the NL in innings pitched and third in pitches thrown.

The Phillies fell to the St Louis Cardinals last night, losing 6-3 to drop to 59-50 on the season.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phils and went six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk. Only four of the runs were earned. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both home runs. He struck out five.

Over his last two starts Hamels has allowed 14 runs in 9 2/3 innings.

Joe Mather singled to left with one out in the first. Albert Pujols flew to center before Ryan Ludwick moved Mather to second with a single. Troy Glaus flew to left for the third out.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 second.

Skip Schumaker started the third with a single and Cesar Izturis followed with a four-pitch walk. Walking Cesar Izturis on four pitches doesn’t usually bode well and it didn’t in this case. Mather was next and blasted a 2-1 pitch out to left to put St Louis up 3-0. Pujols was next and he hit a rocket to third, but Bruntlett made a nice diving play and threw him out at first for the first out. Ludwick was next and hit a slow ground ball to third. Bruntlett charged and fielded but threw in the dirt and Howard didn’t handle it. The ball got by Howard for an error on Bruntlett that let Ludwick go to second. Glaus singled on a ball back up the middle that Rollins knocked down. Ludwick moved to third. Yadier Molina hit a fly ball to left for the second out, deep enough to score Ludwick and put the Cards up 4-0. Aaron Miles grounded to second for the third out.

Hamels struck out the pitcher Kyle Lohse and Schumaker in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He got the first two in the fifth before Ludwick hit the first pitch of hit at-bat out to left to put St Louis up 5-0. Hamels struck out Glaus to end the inning.

With the Phils down 5-3, Hamels gave up a single to Miles with one out, but got pinch-hitter Brendan Ryan and Schumaker to leave him stranded.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

He returned for the eighth and Ludwick led off with another home run that put St Louis up 6-3. Molina followed with a single, but Miles hit into a double-play behind him. Pitcher Jason Isringhausen hit for himself and grounded to Utley.

Madson threw 28 pitches, allowing a run in two innings. Over his last five appearances he has allowed runs four times, surrendering seven runs in 5 2/3 innings.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Kyle Lohse went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Bruntlett (8) Ruiz. Bruntlett again plays third against a righty, which is a pretty bad idea. Jenkins in right against the righty. Ruiz catches.

Rollins led off the first with a walk and stole second as Victorino struck out for the first out. Utley popped to second before Howard walked, but Burrell went down swinging to end the frame.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second.

Rollins walked again with one out in the third. Victorino and Utley both went down on fly balls to leave him stranded.

1-2-3 in the fourth.

With two outs in the fifth, Hamels singled to left on an inside-out swing for the Phillies’ first hit. Rollins smashed a line drive back up the middle that Lohse snared to set the Phils down.

Victorino started the sixth with a double to left-center. Utley was next and he sliced a ball into left field off the chalk and into the stands on a bounce. Victorino scored to cut the St Louis’ lead to 5-1. Howard struck out looking and Burrell got behind 0-2 before he hit a 2-2 pitch out to left to make it 5-3. Jenkins followed with a double to right, but Bruntlett struck out and Ruiz grounded to short for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh. Taguchi hit for Hamels and popped to short for the first out.

Utley was hit by a pitch to start the eighth. Howard smashed a ball but right at Pujols, who caught it and stepped on first to double-off Utley. Burrell walked to put a man on first for Jenkins with lefty Jaime Garcia on the mound for St Louis. Werth hit for Jenkins and the Cards brought in righty Jason Isringhausen, who struck Werth out to end the inning with Burrell stranded and the Phils down 6-3.

Bruntlett led off the ninth with a walk. Coste hit for Ruiz and struck out for the first out. Dobbs hit for Madson and flew to center for the second out before Rollins walked on a pitch that got passed Molina and allowed Bruntlett to go to third. It brought Victorino up as the tying run. He grounded to second to end the game.

Rollins was 0-for-2 and walked three times. He had as many walks last night as he did in his previous 57 at-bats combined.

Victorino was 1-for-5 with a double and left four men on base.

Utley 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Howard 0-for-3 with a walk.

Burrell 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run homer.

Jenkins 1-for-3 with a double. He hit 256/333/458 in July, which isn’t great but it’s just about all the Phillies need him to do.

Bruntlett was 0-for-3 with a walk, struck out three times and made an error (and one really good play) at third. He’s 1-for-his-last-12. Dobbs should be playing third against righties with Feliz out.

Ruiz was 0-for-3.

Joe Blanton (5-12, 5.13) faces righty Braden Looper (10-8, 4.38) tonight. Opponents have hit .291 against Looper this season, lefties .290 and righties .292. Jenkins is 8-for-19 against him in his career (.421). Howard has faced him four times and gone 3-for-4 with three home runs. Blanton has a 7.88 ERA in his two starts with the Phillies and has allowed seven runs in eight innings. Overall on the season he’s been hit hard by righties. Right-handed batters are hitting .328 with a 1.76 ratio against him.