The Phillies started off their six-game, post-all-star break road trip by winning the opening series against the Rockies. On Sunday, Cole Hamels shut down Colorado, leading the Phillies to a 5-1 victory. It was the first series victory for the Phillies since they beat Colorado at home nearly a month ago – June 19, 20, and 21.
HAMELS PROVES WHY HE’S WANTED
-Cole Hamels is being watched. He doesn’t seem to mind much, because he turned in an excellent performance as scouts reportedly looked on in Denver. Hamels held the Rockies to one run and six hits over eight innings, grabbing his 11th win of the season – one that could be his final as a Phillie. Over his 111 pitches, Hamels threw 71 strikes – he fanned seven and walked one.
-Not to be overly-dramatic, but there is a real possibility that the Phillies deal Hamels before the July 31 deadline.
Early on, Hamels struggled to keep the Rockies off the basepaths, but came away unscathed. His best inning was likely the fourth when it took just four pitches to get through. After 23 pitches in the first, Hamels settled down to get through eight. That’s what the greats do.
-In the eighth inning, he was still at his best. He allowed the leadoff hitter to get aboard, but ran through the next three hitters, including Carlos Gonzalez, getting the all-star to strike out.
-Antonio Bastardo finished off the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, needing just seven pitches, all strikes, to end it. As Ryan Lawrence pointed out via twitter, Bastardo entered the game with a 5.34 ERA in 34 games this year; through 34 games last year, he had a 0.87 ERA. They need him to recapture that 2011 magic if they want to hold off some teams in the late innings down the stretch.
-That’s exactly the kind of game the Phillies envisioned throughout this season; the ace goes eight and hands it off to a worthy bullpen, who seals it. That hasn’t been the case, but Sunday in Denver was just what they wanted to see.
RUIZ STILL HOT
-Carlos Ruiz gave the Phillies the lead in the top of the first inning, knocking in Shane Victorino who reached third on a triple. It was Chooch’s 50th RBI of the season. As Tom McCarthy pointed out in the booth, Ruiz is hitting .430 on the season during the first three innings of the game.
He continued the fun in the fourth inning, doubling high off the wall the opposite way to right-center field. He would then move up on a ground out by Ty Wigginton and a sac fly by Placido Polanco to make it 2-0 Phillies. The man does it all. Ruiz finished the game 2-for-4 and is hitting .353 on the season and his OPS sits at 1.007.
-Hunter Pence came through in a big spot in the fifth inning, launching a long, three-run home run off Rockies starter Drew Pomeranz. It was Pence’s 17th home run of the season. It also could be a resume booster for Pence, who might be a trade candidate as well if the Phils decided to sell off some big parts in the coming days.
-Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that there were several scouts on hand to watch Hamels start in Denver. Among the scouts there was Texas Rangers super scout Don Welke, formerly a Phillies employee under Pat Gillick.
-Shane Victorino is reportedly being scouted, as well. There are a number of teams being mentioned as possible suitors for Victorino, including the Dodgers, Reds, and Pirates.
-The Phillies head to L.A. for three with the Dodgers starting Monday night. Roy Halladay will start Tuesday.