I remember what these types of games feel like.
Sometimes, games are easy. Easy to watch, easy to experience. No head slapping moments, no angry yelling, just happy exclamations and smiles at players doing what they're supposed to do.
Tonight was a good night all around, despite the rain delay of one hour and 48 minutes. With the 5-1 win over the Braves, Charlie Manuel got his 1000th managerial win, the 59th manager in major league history to reach that total. Cole Hamels continued to pitch exceptionally well, going the distance with a complete game. He allowed one run on six hits and one walk, and he struck out nine. It was a swoon-worthy performance. You can say that "he's pitching like the Cole Hamels of 2012", which would technically be true, but remember -- that outstanding pitcher is who Cole Hamels really is. I'd argue that earlier this season, when he was pitching like crap on a cracker, he was pitching like the Cole Hamels of 2009. That Cole Hamels is not the norm. He is the evil outlier.
The offense showed up for Hamels tonight as well. Actually, he showed up first. He hit a stand-up triple in the third inning and was singled home by Jimmy Rollins for the game's first run. Rollins also had a double to lead-off the game. The decisive blow came in the sixth inning when Chase Utley singled (he was 2-for-4 tonight), Darin Ruf was hit by a pitch, and then Cody "SMASCHE" Asche hit a homer to score three mighty runs. Asche also singled and notched his first major league stolen base in the ninth inning, and was then brought in for one more run when Carlos Ruiz singled. The Braves feebly attempted to get something going against Hamels in the ninth. Chris Johnson broke up the shutout with a double to score Upton for the Braves only run, but their eleven millionth come-from-behind win of 2013 was not to be tonight. Cole Hamels wouldn't allow it. If you want something done right, you've gotta do it yourself sometimes. Hamels didn't want the Phillies bullpen anywhere near his mound tonight.
I like winning. Winning is nice. They can't possibly lose EVERY game between now and the end of the season. I'm sure they'll lose plenty, but it's nice that they can still pull off a win like this every now and then.
Fangraph of oh my goodness I love Cole Hamels.