Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley got on base 4 out of 8 times. Rollins used his legs to score a run. Utley walked and knocked in a run. The clean-up hitter knocked in another run. The 5 through 9 hitters produced nothing. Cole Hamels went 8 strong, striking out 10 and allowing just one earned run. The closer came on and shut the door.
Just like old times. In fact, I'm sure I or one of my co-bloggers wrote this game recap back in 2008. Or was it 2011?
The details here aren't that important. Jimmy Rollins started the scoring in the first by hustling to second on a ball hit softly to left field. Chase Utley then walked, and Marlon Byrd singled Rollins home after Rollins went to third on a passed ball. Tim Hudson looked like he was going to struggle, but got Grady Sizemore to line into a double play to end the inning.
From there, Hudson and Hamels threw blanks into the fifth. The difference between the two was that Hudson was using lots of pitches, while Hamels wasn't. In fact, Hamels was on fire. His fastball was peaking at 95 mph, and he was throwing almost nothing but strikes (90 out of 115 pitches). The only run he allowed was on two singles and a sacrifice bunt in the fifth.
The Phillies scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth. Ben Revere got on base thanks to an error by left fielder Michael Morse and then Utley singled him home. That was all the Phillies needed.
Hamels threw another three innings, leaving the game with a 2-1 lead. The big question was who was going to pitch the ninth. Ken Giles was warming up. Hamels probably wanted to go back out. Papelbon was announced on the radio as not available after two bad games in a row.
But then Papelbon came out anyway and did what he has done almost all season long other than this series - shut down the ninth inning.
The Phillies have now won two games since the All-Star Break, both in games pitched by Hamels. Hamels' dominance avoided the sweep, which would have been their 2nd 4-game sweep at home this year, something they haven't done since 1972.
This game was all about Cole. If Ruben Amaro Jr. is shopping Cole around this week, he got a lot of help today from the man himself. I just hope it doesn't happen and we keep watching Hamels pitch for a long time.
Fangraph of old times: