The extended time off appeared to affect the Phillies bats a bit more than it did Cole Hamels left arm. At least until the eighth inning when Shane Victorino unloaded one of his sweet swings that sent a no-doubter into the seats in right to put the Phillies up 3-1. Stutes would falter a bit in the bottom half of the inning, but the Fightins held on for 3-2 win.
Cole Hamels was great for six innings, giving up only two hits and one run. More importantly, he felt his command and stuff was there. “I felt really good,” Hamels told reporters after the game. “I was able to make pitches and able to locate. That’s always a good sign.”
[watch video of Victorino's sweet go-ahead home run below]
The night was not without its Hunter Pence moment. Unfortunately, tonight's was not of the positive variety, as Pence used his own speed against him, over-running a fly ball and eventually botching the play. It was one of only two hits Hamels would allow on the night. [watch Pence's botched catch here]
Charlie Manuel and Rich Dubee felt they'd seen enough from Hamels after six innings and only 76 pitches with the game tied. No need to push him when you have a rested pen.
Antonio Bastardo did his thing in the seventh before Stutes stumbled a bit in the eighth, allowing the Reds to get within one, but he eventually passed the game onto Madson for the save opportunity in the ninth.
After a leadoff single, Mad Dog shut it down.
A much-needed win to get the winning wheels turning again. More importantly, Cole Hamels looked very sharp, and hopefully the velocity can move up a tick or two as he gets more work.