A battle for fourth place in the National League East is hardly something to be proud of, but Chase Utley‘s grand slam and Cole Hamels‘ dominant performance in a 6-0 win Tuesday night over the Mets made Phillies fans smile.
Hamels (6-5) has won three straight decisions and reports indicate he could be traded if the return is exceptional. Most teams have been unwilling to provide the Phillies with what they ask for so it seems the only thing shrinking with chances he’ll be dealt is Hamels’ ERA, now at 2.55. He struck out eight batters in eight scoreless innings Tuesday night.
“This is the place that I want to win again. It was such a great experience,” said Hamels. “Especially these young guys, you can’t tell them enough that this is a place you want to win a World Series, because it’s the most exciting time you’ll ever have in your career. For me, I want to be able to have it again here.”
Chase Utley has also expressed his wishes to stay in Philadelphia and he gave Hamels much more than he needed with a 404 foot grand slam in the seventh inning.
One run would have been enough to back the stellar Hamels, but Jimmy Rollins and Grady Sizemore each had solo shots in the third and fourth innings. For Rollins it was the second of his career off Dillon Gee. For Sizemore it was his first as a member of the Phillies.
Both teams had seven hits each and only one was for extra bases for the Mets. David Wright doubled and struck out twice in four at bats.
Marlon Byrd was kept out of the lineup after fouling a ball off his foot Monday night. It sparked a flurry of excitement given he has been a rumored trade target. He is expected to play Wednesday.