Cole Hamels showed exactly what he was made of on Tuesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals as the Phillies won the second of four games with the birds, evening the series at one each.
Cole pitched 8 innings, gave up 1 earned run on 8 hits, walked two and struck out eight. He maintained his composure throughout the entire game and did not get rattled until a fan leaped onto the field while he was in his windup and time was called in the middle of his delivery in the top of the eighth inning. After order was restored, Hamels gave up back to back singles and the tying run scored on a Yadier Molina line drive to right field.
Cole was visibly upset at the second straight night of fan antics but let’s be real – who wouldn’t be? Heck, even Roy Halladay would have to restrain himself from throwing a strike right to the guy’s skull, I’m sure. But I’m not one for excuses, and I am slowly but surely starting to believe that Hamels is getting better at not taking these kind of things so personally, too.
As wonderful as it would have been for Hamels to pitch his first complete game shutout of the year, life happened, and after 116 pitches he tipped his hat to the crowd and took a seat in the dugout with the rest of The Fightins and prepared to watch Brad Lidge in action.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt it, but after watching Lidge deal out a hitless, scoreless ninth inning in a high pressure situation and all the while taking over for Cole Hamels 2.010 (aka the highly anticipated upgrade from version 2.008), something felt like it clicked. It is entirely too early to start making any kind of predictions and the way I’ve ripped into him in the past it’s way too soon for me to dole out too much praise just yet, but when you have a Hamels that’s on point, and a finely tuned Lidge working together the way they did tonight, one can’t help but wonder just how far this team can go once it has all their players back together again.
So how about some offense to top this thing off?
- Jayson Werth reached base safely in his 26th consecutive game
- Raul Ibanez hit his second triple of the season and has a hit in 6 consecutive games
- Carlos Ruiz was the hero of the night by scoring Ibanez with a sacrifice fly in the 7th and by hitting a walk-off blast worthy of a cherry on top in the bottom of the 10th to win the game for the Phillies
Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 7.61 ERA) takes the mound vs. Brad Penny (3-1, 1.56 ERA) tomorrow evening at 7:05 PM EDT for game three of four.