Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sweep! Hamels dominates as Phillies move on to NLCS

Another game, another dominating performance by a Phillies pitcher. Another year, another NLCS appearance for the Phillies.

Cole Hamels, doing his best Roy Halladay impersonation, dominated the Reds, going the distance in a 5-hit complete game shutout as the Phillies defeated the Reds, 2-0, and completed their first postseason sweep in team history. Hamels was brilliant all night, striking out 9 Reds on 119 pitches and walking none. It was about as smooth a performance as you can ask for as Hamels never had to work his way out of any tricky jams, although he did force the NL MVP Joey Votto to ground into a double play in the 9th inning.

As for the Phillies offense, there wasn't much to speak of. They got their first run in the first inning when Reds shortstop Orlando Cabrera made an errant throw to first base that allowed Placido Polanco to score and the second run came on a Chase Utley solo shot. The Phils did manage 8 hits on the night, though, and they also had a lot of hard hit balls that just didn't fall in, so there shouldn't be a sense of panic about the hitters.

The Phillies now move on to their third straight NLCS appearance and will face either the Giants or the Braves, with the Giants currently holding a 2-1 series lead. While neither team is particularly scary, the Giants do have a formidable pitching staff that could shut down the Phillies bats. Of course, the Phillies also have some pretty darn good pitchers themselves, with the big three aces ready to take the mound for Games 1, 2 and 3 in the NLCS. With the way they are pitching, it's hard to imagine anyone stopping the Phillies this postseason. 8 more wins to go!
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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