He didn’t have his best stuff early, but Cole Hamels overcame his location deficiencies to lead the Phillies to a 2-1 win. Hamels was able to zone in and eventually dominate a hackin’ Marlins order to the tune of 13 strikeouts.
The Phillies numero dos went 6 2/3 strong innings, 127-pitches strong, and walked two while giving up just one run. That first inning run did break his personal 25 1/3 inning scoreless streak, however, Hamels was dealing beyond that shaky opening frame. Those 127 pitches are a career high.
Charlie Manuel rode his horse knowing that the Phillies have an extra day to rest him this week.
On the offensive side, the scoring began early as Shane Victorino led off with a single, followed by a Plaicdo Polanco double off of starter Adalberto Mendez. Florida countered with their lone run thanks to a spinning cue shot by Dan Uggla that didn’t get out of the infield, but did score stud rookie Logan Morrison.
In the fifth inning, Mendez ran out of gas and loaded the bases, making way for Burke Badenhop. He got the bearded one, Jayson Werth, to ground out to third, which was enough to get Victorino home for the winning run. That it, that’s all. Hamels was a one man wrecking machine.
Kudos to the bullpen as well. Chad Durbin got the final out of the seventh inning, then gave the ball to Ryan Madson who allowed two base runners, but induced a ground out by catcher Brad Davis. Brad Lidge, who hadn’t seen action in eight days because of a tight elbow, came on for another clean save, his 94th as a Phillies.
It wasn’t always pretty, but the Phillies gutted out nine tough innings in the humidity of South Florida to jump ahead by two games in the NL East. The Atlanta Braves lost 6-0 to Livan Hernandez and the Nationals tonight, allowing the Phils to pad that lead. Roy Halladay is pitching tomorrow for the sweep. Against who, you ask? It hasn’t been determined yet, which bodes well for the Phils.