Cole Hamels Fact #87: Cole Hamels walks on water and swims on land
Cole Hamels is the best left handed pitcher in the National League. If his 15 strike out complete game against the Reds didn’t solidify that for you then last night must have.
Initially , he stuck out the first four batters he faced. I was thinking to myself "maybe he’d have a Jake Peavy night", striking out the first nine – you know – just for fun. Though it was only four consecutive, his night took a turn for the better pitching six perfect innings. The defensive stepped up and made some quality plays , cheifly Chase Utleys’ sliding stop and Greg Dobbs back hander to end the 6th.
The perfect game was finished after Rickie Weeks walked to lead off the seventh. J.J. Hardy broke up Hamels’ no-hitter with his National League leading 13th home run during the seventh inning. It was clear during the Weeks at-bat that Hamels had hit a wall. His pitches were up in the zone and flat on the pitching plane. Hamels was visibly frustrated as he walked Weeks and who can blame him?
My favorite part of the game last night was the crowd. If you happened to be at The Ballpark last night you are a champion of integrity. Braving an hour rain delay (I was caught at the golf course, not fun), rallying behind every pitch while being a force of inspiration is awe inspiring. The fan participation has been great this series and hopefully it builds from here and erases the bad publicity the crowds have been getting recently.
For Today’s game, I’ll be in attendance to watch Freddy Garcia take the hill, as the Phils look for their first sweep of the season. The Brew Crew shuffle out staff ace Ben Sheets as their series stopper. This season, Sheets isn’t the same pitcher of past years for a couple reasons. Firstly, he is pitching injury free in May. Along with his low strike out totals (5 K’s game high, 25 Total K’s in 48.1 IP), his home run count is up at seven surrendered. He has been consistent with not giving up the long ball early in the season throughout his career, but this year is quite the exception.
Despite it being a sunny day with a bit of a windy chill, I except the Phils to his around Sheets. Their offensive output has been outstanding as of late and I don’t see any reason for that not to continue.