Ryne Sandberg, who began his day by putting Michael Martinez at the lead-off spot in the batting order, ended it by getting his first managerial win on a walk-off error.
That is absolutely a way to get your first managerial win, though I imagine it's not the most popular.
While pinch hitter Michael Young hit into the walk-off error (a ball that was a dead double play ball, why the hell is he still on this team!!?), he was not the hero of today's game. This game had two superstars: Cole Hamels and Carlos Ruiz.
Cole Hamels' ERA is 2.66 in 98 innings since June 1.— Matt Gelb (@magelb) August 18, 2013
Hamels was quite good today. Seven innings, seven hits, two earned runs, and eight strikeout. This was his fifth straight start of seven innings or more. I feel just like I did last year, when I never doubted he would excel in his starts. On the offensive side, Carlos Ruiz had himself a 4-for-4 day. Those four hits raised his average from .250 to .265. A productive Chooch on a hot streak could make this last five weeks more fun to watch.
There were a few supporting players as well. Chooch and Cole didn't win this game on their own. Darin Ruf hit a solo home run, his eighth of the year, in the bottom of the fourth inning to score the Phillies' first run of the game. Chase Utley's fantastic baserunning in the sixth inning helped the Phillies tie the game -- he went from first to third on a Domonic Brown single, and after Ruf walked to load the bases, Utley scored on a Cody Asche force out. And the bullpen should be recognized for not screwing up! BJ Rosenberg and Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless inning each. Hanley Ramirez should be heartily thanked for booting that ball, because if the Phillies needed to dig any deeper into their bullpen, I'm pretty sure I'd be writing a much different recap right now.
The Phillies won today. There will be many, many other chances to talk about the bad things the Phillies do. There will be another day to talk about Michael Martinez leading off, and Jimmy Rollins' .214/.252/.316 line since the All-Star Break, and how bad the Phillies are with the bases loaded. There will be time for that.
But now is the time for reveling in this Phillies win. And for posting this winning Fangraph.