In his post-game press conference, Cole Hamels told the press he wanted to go eight and felt good handing the ball to closer Brad Lidge:
“No, the last time I did that I gave up a two-run home run to Fielder. (Laughter). No, I have all the confidence in the world in Lidge. I knew it was something where I knew if I could get through the 8th, I knew Lidge could seal the deal. That’s something where I wanted to get him a save and I know he wanted to get me a win, and we were able to do that.”
I still think — with just 101 pitches — Hamels should’ve at least started the ninth, and if he got into trouble, Lidge was ready to go. That’s why he’s your ace. He had a pretty easy eighth inning; why not use him the whole way if you can? Yes, Charlie Manuel has stuck to his guns all year, and Lidge was 41-for-41 in the regular season. But Lidge hasn’t had a real easy save in a while, and at some point you have to think Lidge will … well, you know.