In game one, Cole Hamels made a giant leap forward.
The left-handed ace of the Phillies was masterful, shutting out the Brewers en route to a 3-1 win. The Phils own a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five National League Division Series against Milwaukee.
King Cole was untouchable, striking out nine while using all his pitches. The fastball got over. The changeup was beautiful. The curveball made appearances and generally startled hitters. He was on. Plain on. He delivered in his biggest start yet.
He went eight, giving up just two hits and a walk. He was removed after 101 pitches. Brad Lidge entered and made it very interesting, putting the tying run on second base with two outs. He struck out Prince Fielder in a ridiculous at bat, then struck out Corey Hart to let everyone exhale. Hamels said postgame he wanted to sit after eight (possibly since he had previously allowed a home run to Fielder in a tight game). Hmmm. With Hamels out, Lidge threw 35 pitches, potentially making him unavailable for tomorrow.
The Phillies offense showed some of those hiccups that made them beatable against Colorado. They got just four hits off Milwaukee, and Chase Utley got lucky with a two-run double that was dropped by Mike Cameron. The third run came via a bases-loaded walk — Yovani Gallardo walked five.
But watching Jayson Werth look miserable at the plate (0-for-4, 3 K), and seeing Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell and Pedro Feliz come up short in big spots makes one incredibly nervous.
No matter right now. The Phils got the big game one win. And the ace came through with a platinum performance.