6. Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves: September 20, 2010
The 2010 Phillies got off to a slow start in the first half of the season. Speculation even swirled about the possibility of selling off impending free agent Jayson Werth at the trade deadline as the Phillies lingered behind a surprising Braves team.
The acquisition of right-hander Roy Oswalt spurred the Phillies to a second-half tear. The Braves, meanwhile, couldn’t help but look nervously over their shoulders at the back-to-back National League champions.
Manager Charlie Manuel lined up his “three aces” by pushing back Hamels’ start to the first game of a crucial three-game set against Atlanta in September. Hamels came through with eight strong innings, scattering six hits and surrendering only one run. The Phillies swept the Braves and cruised to their fourth consecutive division title.
5. Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds: Game 3, 2010 National League Division Series
The Phillies asserted their dominance over the upstart Reds in the NLDS in 2010 with victories in Games 1 and 2 at Citizens Bank Park. Hamels matched up with the young and promising Johnny Cueto in Game 3 in Cincinnati.
Hamels threw a complete-game shutout in a 2-0 victory. He struck out nine in a dominant performance that capped off a showcase of the Phillies’ outstanding starting rotation.
4. Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs: July 25, 2015
A bad era of Phillies baseball from 2012 onward came after the departure of franchise stars like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins.
Hamels, who was sometimes underappreciated from 2007-2011, came to earn proper recognition later in his tenure in Philadelphia. Fans acknowledged how he brought longevity to the Phillies that more celebrated pitchers such as Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee had not.
However, a deal involving Hamels made too much sense to ignore leading up to the 2015 trade deadline. With a trade imminent, Hamels took the mound in what was all but certain to be his final start with the Phillies.
He went out in style, throwing the only no-hitter of his career. The sendoff was luckily preserved despite a gasp caused by Odúbel Herrera’s stumble in pursuit of a fly ball for the 27th out. This type of emotional accomplishment is fairly rare, considering that most players have no indication of when they will be moving to a new team, but Hamels and the Phillies got to relish the moment on a perfect Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field.