Aug 28, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning of a game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
If you made it through last night’s 6-2 Phillies win over the Mets at Citi Field, you get a unicorn. And an injection of adrenaline directly into your heart.
Despite trying to be bored to death by the incredibly slow pitching of Mets starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, the offense managed to knock the Japanese export around for four runs on six hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings, allowing Cole Hamels to improve his record to 6-13.
I would guess Hamels is a member of the #KillTheWin team, right?
Any worries you may have had about Hamels at the start of the year should be long gone by now. The ace left-hander had yet another strong outing last night, pitching seven innings while giving up two runs and scattering nine hits, with one walk and eight strikeouts. How far has he come?
"Hamels improved to 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA in his 11 starts since June 26. He ranks ninth out of 97 pitchers in baseball in ERA in that two-month stretch. He ranked 77th out of 95 qualifying pitchers through June 26 with a 4.58 ERA. – per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki"
So yeah, Hamels is back. If he was ever really gone in the first place.
Of course, he has been brutalized by poor run support all season, entering last night with the fourth lowest run support in the National League and, after Darin Ruf struck out with the bases loaded with one out in the 5th inning and the Phillies leading 2-1, Hamels helped himself by smoking a two-run single to left that made it 4-1.
Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz and Michael Young all had two hits a piece, with Ruiz smoking a solo home run to make the score 5-1 in the sixth. Ruiz has been on fire the last few weeks, now hitting .282/.325/.389. Back on August 1 he was hitting .248/.297/.292. He has four homers in that span and 10 extra base hits in 78 PAs since the beginning of the month. He started the year with one home run and five extra base hits in the 177 PAs before that.
So yeah, let’s just sign him to that two-year deal and get it over with, huh?
Aug 28, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Cody Asche (25) is tended to at first base during the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
One unfortunate piece of news was an apparent hamstring injury to the Phils’ young third baseman Cody Asche, who had to leave the game in the seventh inning after smacking a single past the second baseman. As Asche rounded first, he grabbed his hamstring and was replaced by John McDonald. It’s unlikely Asche will be in the lineup on Thursday.
But hey, more time to evaluate Michael Young for 2014. So, that’s a good thing, right?
However, the real story of the game last night was the incredibly slow pace of Matsuzaka, who apparently thought he could beat the Phillies by waiting out the shot clock.
"“It was hard to stay focused,” Carlos Ruiz said. “It was hard to wait that long. I was like, ‘Wow.’ It was a long day.”According to Fangraphs, Dice-K has averaged 25.3 seconds between pitches from 2007-13, making him the second-slowest starting pitcher in baseball behind Josh Beckett, who has averaged 25.5 seconds between pitches in that span. – per Zolecki"
With the win, the Phillies continue to do everything possible to eliminate the possibility of acquiring a protected top-10 draft pick next year, having won 8 of their last 11 games. A win over the Mets on Thursday would be their third straight series victory.
In this lost year, even the good times bring with it bad news.