Tonight's game was eerily familiar. We'd experienced something just like it less than a month ago. Back on April 13, Cole Hamels and Jose Fernandez faced each other in Miami. The Marlins won 2-1, with Fernandez going six innings and allowing no runs on just one hit. That night, Cole Hamels also went six innings, and he allowed one run on three hits.
So I guess tonight's recap headline isn't entirely accurate. The Phillies lost 2-0 this time. And tonight both Hamels and Fernandez improved on their previous starts. Fernandez went a career high seven innings, allowing just one hit and one walk. He also notched nine strikeouts, a career high. On the other hand, Hamels went eight strong innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Both runs were solo home runs. But the best news was that after giving up six walks in his last start, Hamels gave up zero walks tonight. That's right, none. This is the first outing in 2013 that Hamels has not given a free pass.
Of course, while Hamels is back to his old self, so is the Phillies offense. Jose Fernandez has the Phillies' number. In the three starts since April 13, Fernandez has a 7.62 ERA. Tonight, he twirled a gem. Two scoreless innings from Mike Dunn and Steve Cishek meant that the Marlins one-hit the Phillies, who didn't put up a fight all night.
My favorite moments of the game belonged to Cole Hamels. In the top of the seventh inning, Miguel Olivo hit a SCREAMING liner right back at Hamels. Hamels was still following through with the pitch he'd just thrown, and his glove was in the right place at the right time. He speared it, because otherwise it would have taken off his head. Nearly Headless Hamels waved the trainers off the field when they came in to help him. His lips may have said "I'm fine", but his body language said "Get the fuck away from me." He responded by pitching a two minute, seven second eighth inning.
This Fangraph has no exciting ups and downs. The line just slowly deflates, giving up hope.