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Nix Delivers, Phils Pile On, Preserve Great Hamels Outing

Cole Hamels looked great as Phils cruise late. Photo: AP

The Phils were on the doorstep all day. The Fightins put together 8 hits and 2 walks through 6 before a little bit of luck and some good hitting put them ahead for the first time in 24.2 innings. Jimmy Rollins and Hunter Pence singled back to back and advanced to third and second respectively on a Ramon Ramirez wild pitch. A Ty Wigginton sac fly tied it before Laynce Nix put them ahead for good with a 2-out double in the 7th.  The Phils blew the barn doors off in the 8th with a Wigginton bases-clearing double and closed out a laugher 8-2.

Storylines:

Cole Hamels delivers: Hamels routinely made the Mets look silly today, going 7 strong, striking out 10, 7 swinging. Hamels had a nice curve ball early but did a lot of damage with a cut fastball late. Nix’s double sealed the win for what was an excellent outing from Hamels, who threw 7 solid innings, registering double-digit Ks (10) for the 19th time in his career (tying Chris Short for fourth in Phils’ history). Hamels’ only misstep was a 2-run first inning HR to Ike Davis, who entered the game 2-26 and 0-10 against lefties. Hamels ties Felix Hernandez and Aaron Harang for the MLB lead in strikeouts with 19.

Hits, hits, hits: One of the early storylines has been the Phillies inability to rack up extra-base hits. While many, myself included, laughed or snickered on Twitter before the game about a line-up that included Wigginton, Nix, and Pete Orr, this line-up delivered. The Phils put together 14 hits, 8 against Mets starter Mike Pelfrey, and finally connected with extra base hits: the go-ahead Nix double, an eighth inning double from Orr, and an eighth inning double by Wigginton. Unlike yesterday, where the Phillies were only able to string two hits together at a time, the Phils connected 4 times with pairs of singles.

Two out hits: The Phillies line-up delivered four two out hits today, including the go-ahead double by Nix and Wigginton’s 3-run double. The Phils drove home 6 runs with two outs.

Top of the line-up delivers: Jimmy Rollins  is seeing the ball and hitting the ball. Rollins added two more hits and a walk, raising his average to .351. Rollins has been one of the unsung bright spots in the line-up, getting on base at a lead-off clip out of the three hole. The actual lead-off hitter, Juan Pierre went 3-4 with 3 singles. Hunter Pence was the third Phillie to have a multi-hit game, going 2-4 with 2 singles and a walk.

Line-up delivers against opposite handed pitching: For those calling for the use of lefties against righties and vice versa, today was your day of vindication. Against righties, lefties Pierre, Nix, and Orr went a combined 6-13. There may be some merit to platooning these fellas afterall.

Qualls still perfect: Chad Qualls pitched an inning and gave up one hit. Still has an ERA of 0.

Runners left on base: While Nix delivered in the clutch, many of the Phils did not. The Phils left 11 runners on base and could have made this a laugher earlier against Pelfrey.

The Phillies finished their 6 game homestand 3-3. The Phils resume play tomorrow at 10:15 EST against the San Francisco Giants for what kicks off a ten-game, three-team West Coast road trip. Joe Savery has been optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room for the returning Jose Contreras. Contreras will be available to pitch tomorrow.

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