Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hamels dominates, Phillies offense explodes for two runs

(AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
On Sunday, the Orioles scored 16 runs, the Yankees and Blue Jays racked up 15 and the White Sox plated 13 runs. But, the true offensive heroes of the day were the Philadelphia Phillies, who managed to score a whopping 2 runs in their 2-1 victory over the Padres. San Diego sent Cha Seung Baek and his 5+ ERA to the mound but he was no match for the Phillies' sluggers.

Ok, enough with the sarcasm. The real reason the Phils won this game is Cole Hamels. Hamels cruised through the game, throwing 8 strong innings and giving up only 1 run. While Hamels didn't strike out a lot of batters (only 3 K's), he was around the plate all day, throwing 73 of 97 pitches for strikes and let the Padres hit it right to his defense. Hamels got just enough runs from the offense for once and earned his first win since July 3rd.

While the offense has been embarrassing, the Phils at least managed to pull out a series victory over the Padres to save some face from an otherwise disastrous west coast trip. The Phillies now go home and, after a day off on Monday, have another softie on the schedule in the Nationals. Another 4 game series with the Dodgers looms for next weekend, so the Phils need to take as many games from the Nationals as possible.

Let's hope that the Phillies can figure out something to jump start this offense. It's frustrating and frankly it's getting old to talk about the same issue over an over again. This team is missing something, whether it's a competitive drive or an urgency to win, but whatever it is, they better find it soon. There is no big acquisition coming in the next few months that's going to kick start this team, so someone has to take on the responsibility themselves. The Mets, winners of 6 straight, are peaking at just the right time. How will the Phillies respond?

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