Hamels, Howard Turn Back the Clock


3. 3. 6. Final. 1

In a turn-back-the-clock style performance, the Phillies got an ace outing from Cole Hamels and a homerun from Ryan Howard to down the first place New York Mets by 3-1 at Citizens Bank Park.

Hamels (2-3) went 7 innings and threw 104 pitches, 69 of them for strikes. He allowed just an earned run and 4 hits, with an 8-2 K:BB ratio.

Ken Giles came on throwing high-90’s heat in a perfect 8th inning, and Jonathan Papelbon followed by shutting it down for his 6th save, a franchise-record tying career 112th as the Phillies closer.

The offense on this night came mostly from Howard and Freddy Galvis, the latter of whom continues a drive for serious MLB All-Star Game consideration. Galvis singled with one out in the 1st, stole 2nd base, and then scored on Howard’s rbi single to put the Phils on top 1-0.

I think the biggest difference in this outing was the fact that he established inside, and hard inside. It opened up the outside for other pitches” ~ Sandberg on Hamels

In the bottom of the 4th, Howard drove one into the center field flower beds for his 6th homer of the season to put the Phils back on top after New York had scratched out their only run of the night in the top to briefly tie it. In the 5th, Carlos Ruiz led off with an opposite field single, moved to 2nd on a sac bunt from Hamels, and scored on a base hit by Ben Revere to make it 3-1.

That was pretty much it for the offense on this night. The Phils didn’t rope around Harvey (5-1), who lost for the first time this season, but did just enough to get the victory. Harvey allowed 6 hits and a walk over 6 innings pitched in which he struckout 4 batters and allowed 3 earned runs.

What just might have been the most complete team performance by the Phillies this season came in front of a nice Friday night crowd of more than 32,000 fans who were clearly there to see the marquee Hamels-Harvey matchup.

More from That Balls Outta Here

There were a number of New York fans scattered in the stands, and they were riled up briefly in the top of the 9th when Papelbon allowed a base hit to leadoff man Daniel Murphy. The Mets brought slugger Lucas Duda to the plate as a pinch-hitter, and those Mets fans in the crowd began a “Let’s go Mets” chant.

With the tying run at the plate, Papelbon bore down and struck Duda out looking. He then struck out Kevin Plawecki swinging, and got Dilson Herrera to fly out to left for the final out.

In his postgame presser, manager Ryne Sandberg spoke on Hamels outing, especially considering previous struggles by the lefty against New York: “I think the biggest difference in this outing was the fact that he established inside, and hard inside. It opened up the outside for other pitches, and he made those pitches, so I think that was big. He really showed that, coming inside and coming off the plate.

The Phillies moved above .500 for the season at home, with their 7-6 record at CBP standing in stark contrast to the 4-13 road record that has buried the club in last place in the NL East. Despite the loss, New York remains on top of the division.