Cole Hamels was a throwback to May, the last time he picked up a win, or held a team to fewer than four runs in an outing. John Mayberry was a throwback to the second half of last year, slamming his fourth dinger over the last five games. Jimmy Rollins was a throwback to... well he was just a throwback, period.
J-Roll reached base on all four plate appearances, scored three runs, and made several sound plays at shortstop in leading the Phils to a 7-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Hamels surrendered a quick run in the first, but save for a slight hiccup in the sixth, he otherwise quieted Colorado bats. It was Cole's 10th win of the season, and a performance the Phillies had to be relieved to see. Between injuries, bad luck, and flat out disappointment, their rotation has been front in center in the mess that is this season for the past month or so.
Meanwhile, Mayberry was 2-for-4, and is teasing another hot streak -- he's 8 for his last 19 (.421), with four runs and 10 RBI. Rollins was 2-for-2 with a pair of walks, while Carlos Ruiz also brought the thunder with a 2-for-4 night, knocking in two of his three RBI on a line drive that left the yard like a bolt of lightning. Chooch raised his season average to .358.
To be fair, the Rockies might not win another game all year. They've dropped to 25-41 for the season, and as we mentioned in Inside the Standings, their pitching staff owns the worst ERA in baseball. Plus, what we learned on Tuesday night is they just began experimenting with a screwy four-man rotation, where the starter is relieved after 75 pitches or so no matter what. Honestly, I haven't figured out what this attempts to remedy, because it's not like that bullpen has been much better.
But I digress. This is an awful club in town, with their best hitter out of the lineup no less. Nothing to get too excited about here.
Yet the turnaround has to start somewhere, if it's to happen at all, and kicking off a 12-game homestand with a win feels as good a place as any. Even some of us looking at the glass half empty are waiting for the Phillies to pull the rip-cord and take off, because it's sort of what we've come to expect in recent years.
Still, for being a "bad" team right now, the Fightins don't seem to have too much trouble beating up on other inferior squads, raising their record to 15-7 against sub-.500 teams in 2012.