Cole Hamels was spectacular in the series finale against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, going seven inning while striking out eight in the Phillies 3-0 win. His performance made everyone forget about his first start against the Mets on Tuesday – one in which he could not finish three innings.
Hamels baffled Braves hitters all day with a potent and sharp fastball, coupled with a ridiculous changeup that left Atlanta bats guessing, and guessing wrong. He walked one batter and allowed four hits over 102 pitches. For those wondering if Hamels had the cojones to make a quick comeback after such a disastrous start, your questions were answered.
Shane Victorino provided most of the offense for the Phillies on the afternoon. The hot-hitting centerfielder had three of the teams eight hits, including a home run – Victorino is now hitting .417 through nine games.
Jimmy Rollins helped add to a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning by ripping a double to right field which he stretched to three bases after Jason Heyward bobbled the ball. Ryan Howard brought him home one batter later on a ground out. Rollins aggressively went home on the roller to shortstop, proving the speed is still there. J-Roll finished the day just 1-for-4 but is hitting .324, one of six Phillies regulars in the lineup hitting over .300 through the first three series.
After Hamels departure, Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras threw major heat. Madson allowed a baserunner but quickly ended the inning on a 4-6-3 double play. Contreras went from 94-96 on the gun and was able to mix in a filthy splitter or two to end the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
The Phillies are now 7-2 and have a day off tomorrow before meeting up with Jayson Werth and the Nationals on Tuesday in Washington D.C.
Next Game: Tuesday, 7:05 – Joe Blanton vs. Livan Hernandez.