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Tater Knots: Phillies 9, Twins 8

Can the Phillies get a full season Designated Hitter this year? (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Can the Phillies get a full season Designated Hitter this year? (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Cole Hamels pitched like hell again, but the offense bailed him out (how the worm has turned), as the Phillies held off a late charge by the Twins, winning by a score of 9-8.

Hamels took the hill in the bottom of the first with tremendous breathing room, thanks to a six run first inning, capped by a long three run bomb from John Mayberry. The Twins would cut the lead to 6-1 on a Trevor Plouffe home run and, after the Phillies scored again on a Mayberry double to extend the lead to 7-1, the Twins cut the lead down to 7-3 in the third thanks to some so-so pitching and a key throwing error by Michael Martinez.

The Phillies would extend the lead to six runs again in the fourth on a tremendous home run over the center field batters' eye by Jim Thome, unofficially measured at 466 feet. The blast brought the hometown Minnesota crowd to their feet for a standing ovation. At that point, the Phillies were done scoring. The Twins were not.

Hamels allowed another home run in the sixth to Josh Willingham, then allowed the first three batters in the seventh to reach base, including doubles from Brian Dozier and Denard Span. Hamels' final line: six innings, six runs, six strikeouts, two walks and eight hits. Reliever Antonio Bastardo allowed consecutive singles to Ben Revere and Joe Mauer, and an RBI groundout to Justin Morneau, before retiring the side and holding a narrow 9-8 lead.

The maligned Chad Qualls started the eighth and struck out the first two batters, and nearly struck out Jamey Carroll for the final out, only to see him reach base on a wild pitch. Enter Jonathan Papelbon, brought in for a four out save. Papelbon would induce a scary line drive out from Denard Span to end the eighth, and pitched a perfect ninth for the save, thanks to a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch in shallow center by Martinez.

Of note: The Phillies loaded the bases with no one out in the top of the ninth, but failed to score. Of course, the final three outs were made by Placido Polanco, Mayberry, and Martinez, soo...

Baseball is scary.

Source: FanGraphs