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Howard, Stern: Phillies 4, Pirates 1 (10)

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Take note: Brad Lidge is our closer.  Always was, always will be.

On a night with some notable positives -- an apparent return-to-form for Cole Hamels, and a titanic three run bomb in the 10th inning for Ryan Howard -- the most obvious topic of discussion after tonight's game was another blown save by another Phillies reliever.

Tonight, Ryan Madson inherited a 1-0 lead, thanks to Chase Utley's solo home run in the top of the first inning.  It looked like that'd be enough.  But, well, you know how the story goes.  Madson surrendered a solo home run to Brandon Moss with one out in the 10th inning to tie the game 1-1.  The Pirates didn't score again, and the game went into the 10th, with the top of the Phillies order coming up.  Jimmy Rollins led off the inning with a walk, and advanced to third on a Victorino single.  After Chase Utley popped out to center, Ryan Howard ripped the first pitch he saw from lefty reliever Ryan Dumatrait into the right field seats, giving the Phillies a 4-1 lead, which Madson protected in the bottom of the 10th.

As mentioned above, Cole Hamels quietly had a nice game.  He was not particularly economical with his pitches in the early going, but settled down in the later innings, ultimately allowing seven hits and one unintentional walk in eight innings pitched, striking out seven. 

In other news, Brett Myers pitched two innings in Reading tonight -- no runs, struck out five.  Ahmmmm...