So, how about Cole Hamels, guys. Seven innings, seven scattered hits, one walk, one earned run and nine strikeouts. All on 108 pitches, and all without his best stuff, in front of his hometown fans, no less.
Actually... hang on a second. I want to think about Hamels some more...
Ed Note: Phrozen?
Oh, right, sorry. Where was I?
Oh, right, Hamels is awesome. Hamels was, initially, matched blow for blow by the Padres' Eric Stults. Until the fifth, that is, when the wheels came off. Darin Ruf led off the inning with a single, Domonic Brown singled to center and Carlos Ruiz singled to left loading the bases, bringing up Freddy Galvis. Galvis, the offensive star of yesterday's game, came through big again, with a two run single up the middle.
This brought Hamels to the mound, who gave Stults his first out of the inning, with a successful sac bunt, moving the runners up in what turned out to be a fortuitous play, as Ben Revere followed with a ground-rule double, driving in two more, and chasing Stults.
That would be all the Phils needed, but they added some insurance in the sixth, when Ruiz drive in Ruf from third with a sac flu off Joe Wieland. The Padres' bullpen held the line the rest of the way, but the damage was sufficiently dealt.
For the Phils' part, after Hamels, who better than Jake Diekman in the eighth and Ken Giles in the ninth. Diekman allowed a hit and a walk, but struck out one in an otherwise clean inning; and Giles was tagged for his first hit and run since August 27th and 23rd respectively, but got the job done with two strikeouts.
Full disclosure: I wrote the headline before the run. But still.
Maikel Franco, starting at third, made the hot corner look easy, including kicking the tires on a fantastic double play.
Kid's got something there. Depending on how he looks in the Spring, of course, I'd be totally fine giving him the job to start next year. Not sure what to do with Asche, who I think has earned more than a benching, but that's one of them good problems.
With the win, the Phillies are no longer able to finish with 69 wins, but still improve to 70-82. Game three of this four-game series is tomorrow night, as the Phils send Kyle Kendrick to the hill against the Padres' Robbie Erlin.