Cole Hamels hasn’t pitched in a while and the Phillies have received an extended unexpected break due to a hurricane. Baseball is back and Hamels was removed from the DL to make today’s start. Cole has been almost unbeatable against the Cincinnati Reds making this the perfect team for him to return against. He was fantastic. He gave up one run on two hits one of which should have been an out as Hunter Pence misplayed a flyout. Hamels struck out seven and made the Reds look silly all night. He threw six innings and looked really sharp for his first start back. Welcome back Cole.
The worst part about a Cole Hamels start is the inability of the offense to hit when he’s on the mound. The Reds sent Homer Bailey to the mound in an effort to test the veracity of this hypothesis. Bailey matched Hamels for the majority of the game surrendering only one run before Shane Victorino untied the game with a two run home run in the eighth inning. If Bailey can pitch like he did tonight he is getting closer to realizing the potential that made him a high first round draft pick. I like watching him pitch considerably more when he is terrible. He went eight innings allowing six hits, three runs while striking out nine Phillies. He was effective but still ended up losing the game.
After Hamels exited the ballgame, Charlie turned to Antonio Bastardo, who responded by striking out the side allowing only a walk to Joey Votto. Michael Stutes came in and allowed a run, drawing the Reds within a run. Ryan Madson earned the save which was his first since his horrific blown chance against Washington.
Wilson Valdez was 2-3 with an RBI and Shane Victorino was 1-4 with a game winning home run and no one else did anything of note. This was a good win coming off of the layoff.
Tomorrow Roy Halladay attempts to exact revenge on mother nature for derailing his routine as he faces Bronson Arroyo.