When I was in middle school, I took a Spanish class. As an exercise, we translated the Ritchie Valens song "La Bamba". I still remember a bit of it, and the last couple of days it's been swimming in my head thanks to one specific line.
Yo no soy marinero! Yo no soy marinero, soy capitan, soy capitan, soy capitan.
The Phillies are indeed not Mariners! They are Phillies! And that's how I'm justifying including this pointless intro!
OK. FINE. The Phillies aren't captains either. WHATEVER. Beyond the Decemberists' "Mariner's Revenge Song", that's the only mariner themed song I know. (Though I'd pay a considerable amount of money to watch Felix Hernandez sing and act out "Mariner's Revenge Song" with the rest of the team as supporting players. Get on it, Mariners PR people!)
Come on, do you really want me to talk about the game? YOU GUYS ARE NO FUN, NO FUN AT ALL.
Cole Hamels had his least effective start in recent memory today, but it didn't matter because the Phillies offense did juuuuuust enough to get him the win. Yes, Cole Hamels won a game. I'm mentioning it even though pitcher wins are stupid and pointless, because Hamels got his seventh win of the year. Seven wins leads the Phillies pitching staff. Pitcher wins mean less than farts in the wind, but that stat is still pretty sad. The 2014 Phillies: even irrelevant stats make them look bad.
Hamels went just five innings today. He gave up three runs on nine hits and threw 99 pitches. He walked one but struck out just four. So as you can see, it wasn't his finest performance. It was his shortest outing since July 2, on which he also gave up three runs in five innings, but took the loss because BASEBALL. Truthfully, if Hamels has one of these starts every six weeks, we should all consider ourselves lucky. A less-than-great Hamels outing is still better than many, many pitchers. Like Kyle Kendrick!
As far as offense, the Phillies limited their output to two innings, the third and the fourth. Marlon Byrd tied the game 1-1 in the third with a single that scored Jimmy Rollins, who had doubled. In the fourth inning Wil Nieves singled to lead off, and that's when things started getting funky. Andres Blanco reached on a throwing error from the pitcher, and when I say "reached", he actually made it to second base (and Nieves made it to third). A passed ball would score Nieves, and Blanco would score one out later on a Ben Revere groundout. The score was tied when Blanco crossed the plate, but the Phillies weren't done. Rollins singled, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Chase Utley single. That is where the scoring would stop. Nieves, who got the post-game interview today, was the most impressive with three hits on the day, and here are a few fun facts -- this was Nieves' third three-hit game of the season, and his seventh multi-hit game. He's started 20 games this season.
Neither team was really at their best today, at least through four innings. Mariners' starter James Paxton gave up seven hits and four runs and was done after four innings. Only one of those runs were earned, but the defensive, uh, hiccups were mostly from Paxton himself. Both teams were done scoring after four innings as well, leading to five innings of scoreless bullpen baseball
As a whole, the bullpen has had an up and down year. But when they're on, they're on, baby. After Hamels departed the game at the end of the fifth inning, Jake Diekman pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh. Ken Giles picked it up from there and pitched a scoreless eighth inning. And Jonathan Papelbon closed it out with his own scoreless frame. Diekman notched four strikeouts. Giles had three. Papelbon had two. Hey guys, remember when people were super concerned about Kenny Giles and whether or not he'd be ready for the bigs after spending such little time in AA and AAA?
#Phillies Ken Giles: 29⅓ innings pitched 108 batters faced 44 strikeouts 6 bases on balls 40.7 K% 13.50 K/9 7.33 K/BB 0.852 WHIP— Ace of MLB Stats (@AceballStats) August 20, 2014
Yeah, I don't remember that either. But I will remember this:
Cole Hamels on Ken Giles: "A Brad Lidge in the making ... and he throws harder than Brad."— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) August 20, 2014
Yeah, that's just my favorite player comparing Ken Giles to another one of my favorite players. Excuse me, I need just one minute alone to get all my SQUEEing out.
(I should also say that the Mariners bullpen also gave up just three hits over four innings, but for more on their awesomeness you should check out Lookout Landing.)
So the Phillies won, the Mariners lost, and now I can start 47 hours of Phillies-free baseball. And so can you!