Hamels Deals the Right Cards


1. 33. 4. 6. Final

The Phillies opened their 3-city, 10-game road trip with a big 4-1 victory tonight at Busch Stadium in Saint Louis. The win was the first of the year for ace lefty Cole Hamels, who came up with his best start of the season.

For a long time, it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. The Phils were struggling along into the 7th having given Hamels no run support and trailing 1-0.

The Cards had gotten on the board first with a run in the bottom of the 3rd, and Hamels was fortunate that it wasn’t more. Jon Jay led off with a walk, but was thrown out stealing following a strikeout by Lackey. But the Cards responded with three consecutive singles from Matt Carpenter, Jhonny Peralta, and finally Matt Holliday, the last scoring the first.

That lead held into the 7th, with Lackey matching Hamels, shutting the Phillies down on 5 hits. In the top of the 7th alone, the Phils would nearly double that total.

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Cody Asche and Carlos Ruiz (with his 3rd of 4 hits on the night) singled to start the inning and put runners at the corners with nobody out. Asche was caught in a rundown on a grounder to 3rd by Freddy Galvis for the first out. Hamels then bunted the two runners over to 2nd and 3rd, but there were now two outs.

Ben Revere then came through with the big hit of the night. He smacked a ground-rule double down the left field line, both Ruiz and Galvis scoring on the play to put the Phillies up 2-1. Odubel Herrera then followed with an rbi hit to score Revere, but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double. Still, the Phillies had finally given Hamels some runs and led 3-1.

Hamels got through the 7th, but at 114 pitches (69 strikes) he was done. He allowed just 4 hits and 1 earned run, walking 4 and striking out a season-high 9 batters. Ken Giles came on, and while he wasn’t throwing smoke, he was getting hitters out, striking out a pair in a perfect 8th.

Apr 27, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA;

Philadelphia Phillies catcher Ruiz (51) is congratulated by teammates after scoring against the St. Louis Cardinals during the seventh inning at Busch Stadium

. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

So the Phillies took their 3-1 lead into the 9th inning. Ruiz led off the Phils half with a line double to left for his 4th hit, the first Phillies hitter to reach that mark this season. Galvis bunted him to 3rd, and Ruiz then scored on a Darin Ruf ground out to 2nd base, pushing the lead to 4-1.

That brought closer Jonathan Papelbon on to try to nail it down. He gave up a 2-out double, hit a batter, and brought the tying run to bat. But he closed the game out with a strikeout, giving him 5 Saves on the season. That puts him just one behind the all-time franchise record currently held by Jose Mesa.

Tomorrow night the two teams will be back at it in what is, on paper, a pitching mismatch. The Cards are sending Michael Wacha to the mound with a 3-0 record, 1.33 ERA/0.934 WHIP, having allowed just 15 hits in 21.1 innings with a 12-4 K:BB ratio. For the Phils, Severino Gonzalez makes his MLB debut. He was 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA in 3 starts for AAA Lehigh Valley.