MILWAUKEE - Every loss counts the same, but don't believe for a second that every loss feels the same.
That truth could be found everywhere last night at Miller Park.
It started with the quiet that filled the visitors' clubhouse, where the Phillies tried to collect themselves after they blew a four-run lead in a 6-5 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
It continued with the door to Charlie Manuel's office that remained closed for at least 45 minutes after the game, highly unusual for the typically affable and buoyant manager. It finished with the frustrated starting pitcher leaving the clubhouse without a word.
"It was a tough night," outfielder Chris Roberson said. "It was a really tough night."
Perhaps this season's worst loss.
And for good reason.
The Phillies had a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning with Cole Hamels on the mound.
Hamels is their ace. The Phillies absolutely must win a game like that.
But after the Brewers used a pair of infield singles to start the sixth, they scored three runs off Hamels to cut the lead to 5-4. Tom Gordon then served up a 1-2 fastball over the heart of the plate to Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder, who jacked the ball into the right-field stands for a two-run home run in the eighth inning to hand the Brewers the one-run lead.
"It's definitely a tough time," Gordon said. "I missed on one pitch, and it cost me. I was trying to put that pitch up and in, and I left it down and in. He just dropped the head on it. He's a good hitter, and that's definitely not the pitch you want to make right there in that situation."
But the final kick to the stomach came in the top of the ninth when Tadahito Iguchi hit a drive to right field. Corey Hart leaped in the air and snared the ball before it could carry over the fence for a game-tying home run.
"It's just really unfortunate," Iguchi said through his translator. "It really felt good off the bat. I was praying as I ran down the line, but the outcome was on the wrong side."
"I'm good for something," said Hart, who is 6-foot-6. "Height."
The Phillies have lost seven straight games at Miller Park. They have lost each of the last five games here by one run.
It has become a house of horrors.
Especially when you consider Hamels had allowed just two hits until the sixth inning and the Brewers had hit just a combined .104 (5 for 48) in their careers against him before Tony Graffanino and Joe Dillon each reached on infield singles to start the sixth.
"It's hard to have a good feeling when Cole Hamels is on the mound, but somehow we had a good feeling," Brewers manager Ned Yost said.
Hamels then allowed a double to J.J. Hardy and singles to Fielder and Bill Hall to cut the Phillies' lead to 5-4.
The Phillies took a 3-0 lead in the second inning with the help of Ryan Howard, who has been mired in a recent slump, and Pat Burrell, who has been on a tear since he had a .201 average July 1.
Howard crushed a leadoff home run to center field off Brewers righthander Dave Bush to make it 1-0. Bush then walked Aaron Rowand, and Burrell followed with a two-run homer to left to make it 3-0.
But those homers were a distant memory afterward.
Manuel was alone in his office, probably thinking of other things.
Like losing a four-run lead with his ace on the mound.
Like that 1-2 pitch to Fielder.
Like that catch by Hart.
A killer? Absolutely.
Extra bases. Outfielder Michael Bourn, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left ankle, said he would need all 15 days on the disabled list to recover from his injury. . . . Outfielder Shane Victorino, who is on the DL with a strained right calf, could begin running early next week. He said he should need no more than 15 days to recover from his injury. . . . Kyle Lohse, who has a bruised right forearm, will try to throw a bullpen session today. He is scheduled to start Wednesday against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.