Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hamels pitches Phillies to victory, Victorino hurt

Cole Hamels for Cy Young! Hamels pitched his third straight dominant game, throwing 7 shutout innings to lead the Phillies over the Cubs 7-1. The Cubs managed only one hit off Hamels, who lowered his ERA to 0.83. Hamels struck out five batters, and while the Cubs did get a few hard hits off him, they were all right at the defense. With all the questions the Phillies have with their pitching, it's nice to have an ace like Hamels out there every fifth day.

Offensively, the Phillies were powered by 2-run homers by Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz. Chase Utley also added a double and a triple, although he did strand 5 runners in the early innings. Last night's hero, Pat Burrell, went 0 for 2, but walked twice and scored a run.

Jimmy Rollins did not play again for the fourth straight game, and he might have some company on the bench for tomorrow's game. Shane Victorino had to be taken out of the game after straining his calf running out a ground out in the sixth inning. There is no word yet on the severity of the injury. I would bet he avoids the disabled list, but he misses the next few games. The question now is, if Rollins and Victorino are both on the shelf, who leads off? Look for Charlie Manuel to have Jayson Werth play center and be an unconventional lead-off hitter tomorrow.

Despite the injury, it was another solid win for the Phillies, who have shown quite a streaky pattern to this point. So far this season, the Phillies have alternated two game losing and two game winning streaks. They started the season dropping two to the Nationals, before taking the next two, then losing two more to the Reds, and so on until their current two game winning streak. The Phillies finish out their series with the Cubs tomorrow as a couple of soft-tossers take the mound: Jamie Moyer for the Phils against Jason Marquis of the Cubs. Look for the Phillies to lose if their current streak holds true.

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