The baseball season is long. 162 games played over eight months is long enough that it's often said if you watch enough, you'll see weird things every year from every team. This might just be that.
If you assume the Phillies' true talent level is that of a .350 team, that is, you'd expect them to finish 57-105, then a six game winning streak has a 0.18% chance of happening once in a season. #CantPredictBall
Cole Hamels was the ace we all know he is tonight, pitching seven and a third innings, scattering six hits and a walk, while striking out seven. He allowed one run, on a single by DJ LeMahieu, but was otherwise solid. Averaging 94 mph on his fastball, he was able to hit 96 when he needed to.
The Phils backed up Hamels with a ten-hit day. Ryan Howard started the scoring in the first, driving in Ben Revere with a single through the shift. After the Rockies tied it up on LeMahieu's single, the score remained knotted until Odubel Herrera stepped up with two on and two out in the sixth. Odoobs' double to right scored Maikel Franco and Chase Utley, and Herrera was able to take third on the throw in. Carlos Ruiz, the next hitter, singled in Herrera for a 4-1 lead.
After Hamels was done, Sandberg went to Luis Garcia in the eighth inning of a three run game, presumably because Normal Setup Man Ken Giles had pitched in five of the last six games. Maybe don't use the bullets you don't need to use, Ryne? Garcia was shaky, throwing lots of strikes, but was tagged for two hits, including one that scored Nolan Arenado because defensive replacement Jeff Francoeur was unable to get the throw down.
In the ninth, Jonathan Papelbon was available, and came on with a two-run lead to protect. He struck out Drew Stubbs, (Stubbs' third K of the night), before LeMahieu tripled to center...
Time out. Do you remember last April, when the Phillies last visited Colorado on, fortuitously, 4/20? I know someone who does:
What a miserable human being he must be.— Corinne (@Ut26) May 19, 2015
Howard, if you recall, started off with a single, a home run and a triple before being credited with, in his fourth at-bat, a single and an E-9.
So, okay, that's kinda fair. Right? I mean, Barnes booted it clearly. But come on. His fourth AB. He's already singled, tripled and homered, and he needs a double for the cycle. Don't be that guy, official scorer.
Well, Mr. Colorado Official Scorer learned his lesson, apparently. All the extra bases. So when Lemahieu's fly ball was bobbled by Francoeur and LeMahieu made it all the way around to third, he was, of course, credited with a triple.
One out later, LeMaheiu scored on a single by big Brian Wilson fan Charlie Blackmon. With a one-run lead now, Papelbon knuckled down and struck out the suddenly fearsome Nolan Arenado to secure the save.
Win number six.
With the win, the Phils improve to 17-23. Last week they were a .324 team looking at 110 losses. Now they're a .425 team looking at 93. Baseball is fickle.
Tomorrow night, the Phils will look for their seventh win behind Aaron Harang against the Rockies' Chad Bettis.
PS: Those odds I mentioned above? They look a little less imposing if you consider that a 162 game season has 156 six-game stretches.