Hamels Excellent Once Again as Phils Grab a Win – Phillies Nation

Hamels Excellent Once Again as Phils Grab a Win

It wasn’t a pretty game, but they seldom are when facing the Red Sox. Boston made it uncomfortable once again, this time getting to within two in the ninth. Brad Lidge was able to seal up the leak JC Romero caused for his fourth save of the season in the Phillies 5-3 win.

Cole Hamels continued his brilliance, this time stymying the Sawx over seven innings of one run ball. With this outing, Hamels solidified himself as a surefire number two-starter by striking out eight batters while tossing 113 pitches. He has now gone seven straight full starts (we’ll exclude the Atlanta outing where he went just 2/3 of an inning, for obvious reasons) without allowing more than three earned runs. What he has earned is the confidence of the Phillies faithful.  Hamels has proven that his 2008 season is closer to reappearing than his dreadful 2009 campaign.

If you noticed the radar gun today, you witnessed Cole throwing perhaps the hardest fastball of his career. Routinely, Hamels touched 95 or 96 miles per hour, an unheard of number a year ago. The Phillies top lefty looks about as locked in as you can get at this point.

Boston’s offense has been unstoppable throughout the past month. Since May 1, the Red Sox have scored nine runs or more 11 times.  Hamels mixed that rocket fastball with his patented changeup, which he threw 26 times for a 65 percent strike rate.  According to MLB’s Pitch F/X, Hamels tried his cutter one time, and Adrian Beltre deposited the ball over the Green Monster in left field.  It was his one mistake on the day and it came on a pitch he has struggled to control all season.

Other than that, it was a shutdown performance by the guy they used to call “Hollywood.” It appears he’s beginning to regain that old swagger.

While Boston’s offense did a 180 in the month of May, the Phillies bats did an exact opposite turn during the same period. They’ve struggled to find consistency, but today was a decent effort. Five runs won’t make people high-five in the street. Still, it’s a step in the right direction.

Tim Wakefield was not as dominating as his first start against the Phils this season, thankfully.  He made it through 7 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs.  It could have been worse. Wakefield loaded the bases in the first innings before getting Ryan Howard to fly out. Jayson Werth followed that up with a double-play, already his fifth DP of the season. No one touched the plate in that inning, a familiar scene as of late with the bases loaded.

Things opened up in the fourth inning as a sustained run was finally accomplished. With one out, Ryan Howard doubled and Jayson Werth promptly singled him home. Raul Ibanez followed that up with his fourth home run of the season. The next batter was Ben Francisco who kept the rally going with a double. Juan Castro sent him to the plate with an RBI single.  Just like that, four runs were scored the way the Phillies have done it for the past two-plus seasons.  They blasted extra-base hits and used that power to their advantage.

Ibanez’s homer was the first for him since May 14th against Milwaukee. During the Phillies latest homestand, Ibanez said he found a flaw in his swing and corrected it. Maybe he was right – he’s 8-for-20 in the last five games.

Charlie Manuel called on JC Romero to start the ninth inning with two lefties coming up. Those two lefties reached base and Romero finished with a line of 1/3 of an inning, one hit, two earned runs, and a walk. Brad Lidge cleaned up the mess by getting the final two outs using that wicked Fastball/Slider combo that has been deadly this season.

Lidge has dealt with injuries this year, but his numbers speak volumes. His 1.13 ERA has reverted back to 2008 form.

The Phillies couldn’t leave Boston without a victory after their demoralizing start to the series. They were able to capture one, which gives them at least a hint of confidence heading into their World Series rematch with the Yankees on Tuesday.



  1. Woody

    June 13, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    It was great to see the Phils win one the old fashioned way…they earned it. Great to see Ibanez hit a big one, Lidge to close one out and , of course, Cole Hamels pitch like a star. Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel after all. GO PHILLIES !!!!


  2. MysteryMet

    June 13, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Nope no light, just someon waving their flashlight, but is still a light so who knows huh.

  3. NJ

    June 13, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    The putrid run started with Wakefield and hopefully it ends with him two, excellent team effort.

    Lidge’s return to form proves how his was mismanaged last year and how overvalued a 40+ save closer can be above just having the right guy ready at the right time.

    Utley is such a great concern right now but I hope people will lay off Ibanez, he isn’t the game changer some thought we might be getting with his form early last year though he’s a really solid contributor over the course of a season and a 20/80/.260 season walking almost as much as he fans is going to justify the salary in the bigger picture.

  4. Manny

    June 13, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    King Cole!!!!!

    and Rauuuul!

  5. Ed R.

    June 13, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    NJ…I don’t think 20/80/.260 justifies his salary but I will gladly take it at this point. He is after all the 7th hitter.

  6. The Dipsy

    June 13, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    NJ – Those numbers will in no way come close to justifying his numbers and quite frankly I’m surprised to hear you say such a thing. While I think he has a hot streak or two left in him, its pretty much over for him. I would love to get those numbers out of Raul. Thats how low the expectations for him are. Bad signing. We have to live with it.

    The Dipsy

  7. Brian Sr. of CO

    June 13, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Finally some truth…Cole Hamels has REALLY turned it around. My guess is Roy Halladay had helped him out honestly. Raul is starting to hit a little bit. I don’t expect .350 out of him, but I do expect more than what he got at the beginning of the season. Lidge appears to be flat out WICKED so far. Didnt know what to expect. Last season was so forgettable, and his Triple-A appearances were just as bad (I understand he isnt going to go out at Triple-A and throw his hardest, trying to work into it), but wow, his slider does appears quite abit different from a fan perespective.

    The Red Sox, are a really good team, so this was a big win, and not just Wakefield not being as dominant as his last start, but really he has owned the Phillies. I believe before today he was like 5-1 with a low 2 ERA.

    Werth…True he hit into another DP, but he has been getting more hits lately. Ben Fran…Who lit a fire under his butt? I believe it was against the Sox before when he went 0-4 leaving 6 (SIX) on base! Now he has been getting some timely hits overall!

    I am hesitant to say slump is over. Seeing 5 runs, then 10 runs, then 2 or 3 games with 2 or less runs, followed by 4 is hardly a reason to get too excited about a team with as much run potential as the Phillies. Sure we could be like the Mutts and see 3 games with 4 runs a piece and be REALLY excited, or we could stay Phillies Fans and wait for the patented UNSTOPPABLE TEAR they will more than likely hit, where they could if not win 10-15 in a row, at least win 10 out of 12, or 13 out of 15 and score 5-6 runs a piece. I just hope part of that tear comes against the Mutts and the Tomahacks.

  8. Ed R.

    June 13, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Well I guess we are stuck with it as sad as it is. Dom Brown will not make an appearance for this team until September at the earliest. And honestly, I can’t say I totally disagree with it. I don’t think its fair to bring a rookie up and hope he is going to right the ship or save the season. I can’t imagine the kind of pressure that would put on him.

    I just hope we can find a way to get out of Raul’s contract next year…not that it will matter since we have another6 years or whatever it is to lament about Howard’s contract.

  9. Brian Sr. of CO

    June 13, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    As for Raul being a “bad signing”…I dont know. I hear bad signing, I think Adam Eaton. I hear Raul, and I think mediocre signing…To me there is a difference.

  10. Brooks

    June 13, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I missed the entire game, down the shore at an arts show. Did I hear this correctly? Hamels fastball hit 96?
    Sweet day in the morning! He’s back! On MLB, they discussed how he pitched to Martinez after giving up the HR – although he walked Martinez after 15 pitches, he did not buckle and make another big mistake.

    Nice game Cole!

  11. The Dipsy

    June 13, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I believe that when Cole’s fastball hit 94-95 he starts to lose movement and he gets hit. Perhaps that is in the past. If he can put that kinda speed on balls up the batter’s eyes like Happ does, than he has found himself another pitch. Great game for Cole. Brian – If it turns out that Raul will give you that one half season and 2 1/2 horrible ones, will it be a bad signing? I hope that doesn’t happen but its headed that way now.

    The Dipsy

  12. Woody

    June 13, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Last year showed that IF Raul gets hot, he can carry a team. Nobody expects that this year, but if he does get hot, he sure as hell will have a very positive impact. The Yankees will be a very good test for this team.


  13. NJ

    June 13, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    I said justifying the salary in the bigger picture. Year upon year players get grossly overpaid to the feature in an offense and year on year they get overpaid to be support players, Ibanez is an example of that.

    He got a 3 year double digit deal because the front office had great faith he could contribute to the production of the heart of the order, he was never meant to be right in the heart of it. Sure it looks like we overpaid but paying in the $30 range is a lot less than having to go to the trade market or have to pay a guy $50/60m. Out of context it seems expensive sure, but almost every non-team-friendly deal does.

    Would you rather the Phillies were aggressive going after the Raul’s, Polly’s and even Blanton (re-sign) and Baez than overpay on the Eaton’s, Jenkins or worse make do with the Helms and the Alfonseca’s? For all the bitching about his salary Raul’s only going to end up costing the team $5/6m over the duration of his deal compared to what the ‘next guy’ would have likely cost.

  14. NJ

    June 13, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    ^BTW I am in favour of eating some of Raul’s final year IF we can re-sign Werth. Pure and simple you spend the money where you can win (and that doesn’t include 1 year or end of contract deals)

  15. Huckleberry Poodle

    June 13, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    The Phils will beat the Yankees on Tuesday.

  16. The Second John

    June 13, 2010 at 11:33 pm


  17. Repeat!

    June 14, 2010 at 12:03 am

    the way this team is playing they wouldn’t even intimidate the “sesame street mafia” get your sh*t together Phillies. the flyers(i’m still feel sick) run is over and we’re all sick of the win 1 lose 3 games routine. enough already.

  18. Brooks

    June 14, 2010 at 4:51 am

    I think the slump is officially over when not only Raul & Jayson get hits but Ryan, Shane and Chase all contribute.
    Hmmm, sounds pretty like a plan..

  19. Chuck

    June 14, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Five runs may not be enough to make people “high-five in the street” ….but what do you want? Five runs (4 on a nice rally and one manufactured on a walk, 2 stolen bases and a sac fly for insurance)….GREAT pitching by Cole, Lidge getting it done.

    It was a REALLY GOOD WIN!!


    Look…if Raul has found a flaw in his stroke….and fixed it…..and will contribute the rest of the way in order to get the Phillies to the postseason……then the contract will be worth it in my opinion. He was a major reason the Phillies were got to the playoffs last year….and couold be this year, too.

    I agree, though….IF he can moved in the offseason ….so that Werth can be resigned….then I am all for it.

  20. Ed R.

    June 14, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Is Chase contributing yet? His average still seems to be going down.

  21. Chuck

    June 14, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Oh, and Hamels was on a MISSION yesterday….96!!!!! What??!!

  22. Chuck

    June 14, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Chase’s avg is down to .256….BUT…. his OBP is actually second on the team only to Ruiz. He leads the team in walks so at least if he can’t hit he’s finding a way to contribute somehow.

    OBP: Chase .375 (Chooch .400, Werth .364, Polanco .355)

    Walks: Chase 36 (Ruiz and Ibanez 29 each, Werth 26)

  23. Kate

    June 14, 2010 at 11:38 am

    The only problem I had with yesterday’s game was pulling Contreras after only one quality inning and then relying on Romero for any period of time. Luckily, Lidge was ready and able to pull Romero’s ass out of the fire.

    Any word on Chooch’s ankle? I would’ve rather seen Romero take a hit in the ankle. We can’t afford to lose Chooch.

  24. Chuck

    June 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Romero was brought in to face two lefties…..that’s his job. The fact that he didn’t get it done has nothing to do with the fact that it was the right managerial decision.

    And you would rather have your late inning guy take a hit?? We can’t afford to lose HIM, either!!

  25. Phan in the outfield

    June 14, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    I feel cautiously better. For a minute. I think. Werth went 3 – 4 on Fri. Even his last hit was a questionable out at 1st. But he almost performed alone on Fri. So the game in total left me in tears. Sat was so abyssmal that I swore I was never watching these SOBs again. But Sun – fool that I am – I turned it on. Ibanez, Howard, Francisco (what the heck), & Werth all hit. Werth RBI’d Howard and frankly Werth manufactured that 5th run with his badass stealing all the way around the diamond. It was as if The Body Snatchers had him for a month and suddenly he came back or something. Sadly it looked as though we’d need that 5th run in the bottom of the 9th, but Lidge got us out of it.

    Even though it was managerially right to use him, Romero continues to scare the crap out of me, Chuck. And I feel like Lidge’s health is so tenuous that he can’t be used for more than a minute at a time. That flips me out too.

  26. teejvee

    June 14, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Ed. R

    No, Chase continues to be problem #1 . wlaks are fine, but that’ snot what you want from the #3. You want extra base hits. He has not gotten the job done in the last month.

    Problem # 2 is Howard. Never homers.

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