While my mind understands the value of trading Cole Hamels right now, my heart may not be able to take it if it comes to pass.
Cole sure didn't do anything to hurt his trade value during the Phillies' 2-1 win over the Braves tonight at Turner Field. And any scouts who were in attendance watching the Phils' ace left hander saw one of his best performances of the season.
Hamels pitched seven innings of electric baseball, giving up just one earned run on four hits, nine strikeouts and no walks, lowering his ERA to 2.83 on the season. This was despite once again not getting much run support from the offense.
All the runs came off the bat of Jimmy Rollins' 7th inning, two-run home run to right field, which gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead. Atlanta would answer with a run of their own thanks to a Chris Johnson RBI single in the bottom of the inning.
The Phils' bullpen shut the door, however, with rookie stud Ken Giles pitching a scoreless eighth, lowering his ERA to 0.60 on the season. He was aided by a terrific caught stealing of B.J. Upton for the final out of the inning by his battery-mate, Cameron Rupp, who short-hopped a breaking pitch in the dirt and fired a dart to second, nailing Upton.
That was followed by a five-pitch save from Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth, who hopefully scouts saw enough of to convince other general managers to send the Phils all of the prospects in exchange for him.
Three outs on five pitches??? WE MUST HAVE THIS!!!
Chase Utley also made this defensive play in the 7th on Freddie Freeman, which is really apropos of nothing other than it's Chase Utley doing awesome things.
Chase Utley has timeless range. http://t.co/JBp8ETW3eP— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) July 20, 2014
The Phils' offense did manage to get nine hits, but left 10 men on base. Stop me if you've heard this before. Grady Sizemore continued to impress since his call-up, playing center field and going 3-for-4 in the leadoff spot. He's been so good, he's kind of a big deal now.
Phillies Outfielde Grady Sizemore joins #Roundtrip to discuss tonight win over the Braves.— MLB Network Radio (@MLBNetworkRadio) July 20, 2014
Easy there, big timer! Rollins drove him in with his 12th home run of the season off Atlanta reliever Shae Simmons.
But the big story of the evening was Hamels, who overpowered Atlanta hitters with a dominating fastball and a change-up and curve that had the Braves off-balance all night. Teams in the market for an ace starting pitcher saw one tonight.
Of course, the contradiction is that, the better Hamels pitches, the better the offers are bound to be, and the more likely it is the Phillies will want to hold onto him. It's still a remote chance he gets dealt, but if he keeps this kind of pitching up ahead of the deadline, general manager Ruben Amaro should at least get some interesting offers over the next couple weeks.
And while most of the news surrounding the Phillies has been concerning the trade deadline, it is always nice to beat the Braves, especially in Atlanta. So, enjoy the team's rare weekend-day victory.
Phillies win their first weekend game since June 14th— Jeff Skversky (@JeffSkversky) July 20, 2014
They don't come around too often.