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Gentle Into That Good Night: Phillies 4, Nationals 2

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The Phillies bid a fond farewell to the Washington Nationals Thursday night by doing what they'd done 14 previous times in the 2009 season: hanging a loss on them. Cole Hamels was the story this time, continuing an utterly brilliant run of starting pitching with eight innings of one-run ball and carrying a perfect game into the sixth. Utilizing superb fastball command and pinpoint location of his signature changeup, Hamels allowed five hits and one walk while striking out ten and recording his 10th win of the season. In five starts since August 26, Hamels has pitched 35.2 innings and allowed just six runs for a 1.51 ERA, bringing his season ERA down from 4.78 to 4.07. 

Once again, the Phillies didn't generate a whole lot of offense against a not particularly formidable pitcher. Nats starter Ross Detwiler entered the game with an 0-5 record and 6.17 ERA, but held the Phillies scoreless until Jimmy Rollins cracked an RBI double with two outs in the fifth. The Phils added two runs against the Washington bullpen an inning later on a Carlos Ruiz bases-loaded walk and a Hamels single through the left side, and after Washington cut the lead to 3-1 in the 7th got the run back without benefit of a hit in the bottom of the inning as Chase Utley walked, advanced to second on one wild pitch, went to third on a Ryan Howard groundout, and scored on yet another wild pitch. 

Brad Lidge worked the ninth for his 30th save, allowing a run on an Elijah Dukes triple and Ian Desmond groundout but otherwise keeping pulse rates low.  

With their victory and the Reds' 4-2 win over the Marlins, the Phils lead Florida by 8 games with 17 to play.