Friday, September 3, 2010

Hamels cruises as Phillies pull within 1 game of first place

Much has been made of the bad luck Cole Hamels has endured this season. Despite putting up sparkling numbers for most of the year, including an ERA in the low 3's and a WHIP that is inching down towards 1, Hamels has gotten very little run support from the Phillies and thus doesn't have a winning record.

Of course, when he's nearly perfect, like he was against the Brewers on Friday night, he doesn't need much support from the bats. In a 1-0 win against Milwaukee, Hamels went 7 innings, struck out 7, walked 3 and gave up 3 hits in a dominant effort. The lone Phillies run came in the second inning when Carlos Ruiz grounded out and Shane Victorino scored from third. From there, the Phillies were shut down, not even coming close to swinging the bats like they did Thursday night in Colorado.

The win, coupled with a loss by the Braves, moves the Phillies to within one game of first place in the NL East and keeps them at least 2 games up in the Wild Card. It's amazing to think that, with all the ups and downs this team has endured all season long, they are right on the doorstep of re-claiming the top spot in the division. Perhaps even more remarkably, the Phillies are also just 1.5 games behind the Reds in the race for the best record in the National League.

There is still a lot of season to go but a few more starts like the one Cole Hamels put together tonight and the Phillies will definitely find themselves back in the postseason. Once they get there, it's going to be pretty special to watch the trio of Roy Halladay, Hamels and Roy Oswalt go to work on the rest of the league.

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