Well well well. Since Jayson Werth hasn’t taken the bait from all the trade talks to showcase any bit of talent, Cole Hamels decided he would. A ton of stories are circulating about the Phillies shopping around for a second ace to compliment Roy Halladay. Hamels took the rubber and showed his team he can handle that role just fine.
Old Hollywood went eight innings allowing only one hit and striking out seven. Hamels didn’t allow a runner to reach second base all game while striking out six of the first eight batters he faced. For those of you counting at home that is only one earned run in his last 22 and 2/3 innings. Unfortunately, the Phillies offense provided no back up and Hamels gave way to Ryan Madson in the ninth with the game all tied up 0-0.
The Phillies did have nine hits but were unable to capitalize on any chances. Madson came in and worked a hitless ninth to send the game into extra frames. J.C. Romero and Chad Durbin combined for a scoreless 1oth.
Leading off the 11th for the Phillies was old reliable Placido Polanco. Already with two hits on the day, Polly sent a Kyle McClellan pitch over the left field wall for his sixth home run of the season and a 1-0 lead. Raul Ibanez walked after Shane Victorino grounded out to short. Ryan Howard then singled for his third hit of the game. Up came Werth with his new facial hair and doubled in Ibanez. Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa decided to give Jimmy Rollins an intentional pass to load the bases for Brian Schneider.
Schneider grounded into a fielder’s choice and Howard was out at home. Cody Ransom then flew out to center. Going into the bottom half of the 11th the Phillies had a 2-0 lead. I know, the suspense is killing me too.
Enter The Closer.
Of course Brad Lidge would do his best Martin Scorcese impression directing the drama out on the mound. Jon Jay walked and stole second. Two ground outs and a game ending fly-out by Randy Winn and the Phillies take the final game of the series 2-0.
I don’t know about you guys, but this just doesn’t feel like a win should. Hamels pitched an absolute gem and the offense could not do anything. When are they going to learn that their starting pitchers can’t go eight every time and hold teams to under two runs. I know, I know…a win is a win and at this point of the season I will take it. The offense needs a wake up call and it needs to come soon.
Worth noting: Werth’s RBI double was his first hit with RISP since June 18. He was 0 for 18 in that span until that hit today. Polanco and Howard each had three hits on the day as Howard joined Polly in the .300 club for the year.