Thursday, June 5, 2008

King Cole dominates while J-Roll gets benched

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
The Phillies finished off their series with the Reds by winning 5-0 behind a stellar performance by Cole Hamels. Hamels threw his second shut-out of the season, clearly bouncing back from getting shelled by the Marlins last week.

3 Up
1. King Cole dominates Cole Hamels was the story of the game as he completely shut down the Reds offense. Hamels needed 103 pitches to get through all 9 innings, motoring through the game in just over 2 hours. He gave up only 3 hits and walked 3 batters and managed to strike out 4. Hamels spent most of his time pitching to contact instead of going for strikeouts and that helped him economize his pitch total and remain fresh throughout the game. This was the third straight quality start from a pitching rotation that was widely thought of as the biggest weakness on the team. With the offense coming back to Earth, the rotation has picked up the slack and kept the Phils on a winning track.

2. Jenkins homers On a night where the Phillies got most their runs off mistakes by the Reds defense, Geoff Jenkins continued his recent hot streak by hitting a homer in the 6th:

Jenkins has quietly bounced back after a sluggish start to the season. Since May 14th, Jenkins has seen his batting average rise 30 points as he has belted 4 homers and driven in 10 runs. When he's hot, the Phillie line-up can be nearly unstoppable.

3. No K's for Howard! Ryan Howard finally gets off the Down list! I will not only give him credit for not striking out but he also singled in a run in the game.

3 Down
1. MVP benched Jimmy Rollins was benched today by Charlie Manuel for not running out a pop-up that ended up being dropped in the third inning:

Manuel felt that if Rollins was hustling on the play he would have easily ended up at second base. Here is another video showing Rollins not running out the pop-up:

Eric Bruntlett entered the game to play shortstop and after the game Rollins owned up to his mistake, saying Manuel "has two rules: Be on time and hustle. I broke one today. It's my fault. I can't be mad at him." Manuel did the right thing. Whether it's the reigning MVP or the 25th guy on the roster, everyone should be hustling, and if they don't, then they should take a seat for someone who will. This isn't an issue that will linger, in fact it could light a fire under J-Roll that could get him going offensively. He has really lost his power this season with only 3 homers so far.

2. Griffey stuck at 599 After four games in Philadelphia, Ken Griffey Jr leaves the city having failed to hit his 600th home run. Of course, when he only gets 6 plate appearances in those 4 games we shouldn't expect much from him. The Reds will likely continue to keep him on the bench until they return back home next Tuesday so he can make history in front of the home crowd.

3. Reds fielders Just an ugly game by the Reds in the field today. They made three errors that each lead to the Phillies putting runs on the board and ruined an otherwise good start by Homer Bailey. Can't say I really mind!

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