If the Phillies didn’t win on Friday night, it was possible they wouldn’t win another game this season. They had their best pitcher on the mound in Cole Hamels, and for whatever reason, Hamels has absolutely owned the Cincinnati Reds. In 12 career starts against them, Hamels is 9-0 with a 1.51 ERA. When the game is in Cincinnati, his ERA drops to 1.33.
So if the Phillies couldn’t find a way to win this one, they were in real trouble. (Although honestly, even with a win, it’s hard to say they aren’t in real trouble.)
Sure enough, Hamels pitched a gem, the Phillies bats came alive for one night, and the Phillies ended their six-game losing streak with an 8-0 win.
Hamels’ performance was not a surprise. The surprising thing was that the Phillies hit so well against Reds’ starter Johnny Cueto. Cueto is one of the top pitchers in the National League, but the Phillies scored four runs off of him in five innings. Most of the damage was done by Domonic Brown (3 RBIs) and Jimmy Rollins, whose solo home run drew him closer to the Phillies’ all-time hits record.
So for one night at least, Phillies fans were happy. However, I don’t expect the good times to last. Sometimes, when a team is playing poorly and on a lengthy losing streak, they’ll have one game where everything goes right. Typically, that team will go back to playing poorly the very next game.
And unfortunately for the Phillies, they won’t have Hamels back on the mound for another four days.
Maybe they’ll prove me wrong. Maybe Roberto Hernandez (today’s starter) will seize the momentum and deliver a similarly strong pitching performance, and the Phillies will actually win two games in a row. But if I was a gambling man, I’d put my money on the Reds.
Tags: Philadelphia Phillies