The start after a pitcher throws a bunch of pitches is always a little concerning. In his last start, Cole Hamels was pushed to his limit, throwing 130 pitches in his eight innings against the Padres. Today marked his first start after that Herculean effort. Hamels was close to dominant allowing four hits while striking out eight in his seven innings of work. His velocity was good, consistently reaching 93 MPH with his fastball. He allowed three runs, two on a home run from Chris Young, but was otherwise totally in control of Diamondback line-up. This is the third straight great start for the goateed left hander and excluding his start against the Mets, Hamels has been fantastic.
The offense has been stuck in neutral for the last few games, but it showed some signs of life in yesterday’s loss. A Hamel’s start has usually spelled ineptitude for the bats. Said run support deficiencies earned Hamels an 12-11 record despite a 3.06 ERA last season. Remember when he got the only hit against R.A. Dickey last year? Remember that a solo home run from Jeff Francoeur was the only run in the game? Ridiculous, unexplainable and rage inducing. Fucking Jeff Francoeur. Luckily the Diamondbacks only posses one ex-Brave, Kelly Johnson. He is terrible.
The score was 3-0 before Hamels set foot on the mound. The Phils got to Joe Saunders with a pair of singles from Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco followed by an RBI double from Jimmy Rollins. Ben Fransisco squandered two opportunities with men in scoring position yesterday. Today,in the same situation, Ben clubbed a bases clearing ground rule double. Personally, I like the part when the Phillies players come through with men on base better than when they pop out weakly to short. In the midst of the run scoring, Chooch exited the game after lining out to Justin Upton. It was revealed that the Phillies backstop left with lower back tightness. Hopefully the injury isn’t something that a big bowl of ice cream can’t fix.
Victorino extended the lead with a solo home run in the second. The Diamondbacks scratched a run across in the bottom of the inning, by converting their only walk of the day with an RBI double by Melvin Mora. Jimmy Rollins got the run back plus one with a two run home run in the top of the fifth. This was Jimmy’s first home run of the year, and he more then doubled his RBI total for the season in today’s game. It is always exciting to see Jimmy Rollins heat up. If he can get hot, it will bode well for the continued offensive success. J-Roll is probably a really good dancer too.
Antonio Bastardo was proved mortal by the D-Backs offensive star of the game Chris Young who crushed a fastball to deep center in the bottom of the eighth. Chris Young is batting .216 with eight home runs. 1/3 of his hits this season have left the yard. Bastardo responded by striking out the next two hitters After the home run Bastardo’s ERA rose to 0.87. How great is his name….. Bastardo….. fantastic.
Ryan Howard ended the scoring in the top of the ninth with a solo home run to deep center off of D-Backs closer J.J. Putz. Imagine going through life with the last name Putz AND playing for the Mets. Yikes. After Ryan Madson walked a tightrope in the ninth the final score was 8-4.
The stars of the game were Hamels, Polanco (4-5 with three runs scored), Rollins (2-5 with three RBI and a homer) and Shane Victorino (2-5 with a homer and two runs scored).
Next up the Phils return to Philly to face the New York Mets. Joe Blanton takes the hill to oppose Mike Pelfrey.