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June 13 2007

In 2006, Brett Myers led the Phillies with 12 wins.  After yet another impressive outing last night, Cole Hamels has now posted an NL-leading nine. 

The White Sox still haven't started anyone hitting above .270 in the set, although today may be the day.  Luis Terrero is up to .273 after going 1-for-3 last night, and the discussions about the fact that Jim Thome, who is hitting .281, will start this afternoon are omnipresent.  I think one followed me in the parking lot this morning.

Paced by Hamels and another big game from Chase Utley, the Phillies beat the Chicago White Sox 7-3 last night to improve to 34-31 on the year.  They are three games above .500 for the first time this season.  They are in third place in the NL East, one game behind the Braves and three behind the division-leading Mets.  They have won three of four and six of eight.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phils and went eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk.  Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and two home runs.  He struck out eight.  Over his last four starts, eight of the ten runs he's allowed have come on home runs. 

With two outs in the first, Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye hit back-to-back home runs to put the White Sox up 2-0.  Hamels struck out Juan Uribe for the third out.  Hamels gives up back-to-back home runs after giving up back-to-back-to-back home runs his last time out against the Mets.

Hamels gave up a two-out single to Toby Hall in the second, but struck out Jose Contreras to set the White Sox down.

Andy Gonzalez walked with one out in the third, but Konerko followed and hit a line drive to first.  Howard snared it and stepped on first to double off Gonzalez.

Dye smashed a ball back up the middle to start the fourth, but Utley made a brilliant diving play and got the out at first.  Uribe flew to right for the second out before Terrero was hit by a pitch.  Hamels struck out Fields to end the frame.

After a 1-2-3- fifth, Hamels got the first two in the sixth before Dye doubled to center.  Uribe popped to Dobbs in foul territory to end the frame.

Pinch-hitter Jerry Owens singled with one out in the seventh, but Hamels got Hall to line to third and Alex Cintron to line to first, setting Chicago down. 

Hamels started the eighth with the Phils up 7-2, having thrown 96 pitches.  Gonzalez singled with one out and Konerko smashed a 2-2 pitch down the line in left, but just foul.  Hamels struck out Konerko and got Dye on a fly ball well hit to left for the third out.

Geary started the ninth with a 7-2 lead and got the first man before Luis Terrero hit a ball out to the upper deck in left field to make the score 7-3.  Geary got Owens on a ground ball to third and Hall on a fly ball to short center to end the game. 

For Geary it was the sixth home run he has allowed on the season after allowing six all last season.  All six have come at home. 

The Phillies' lineup against righty Jose Contreras went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Rowand (6) Burrell (7) Dobbs (8) Barajas.  Another start for Barajas as Ruiz nurses a sore left wrist. Dobbs at third against the righty.  More Burrell hitting sixth.

With one out in the first, Victorino singled and stole second.  Utley walked, putting men on first and second.  Howard struck out swinging at a breaking ball, and Hall simply didn't catch the pitch.  It went off his glove and the runners moved to second and third with two down.  Rowand was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Burrell walked to force in a run and cut the Chicago lead to 2-1.  Dobbs followed and singled into right, scoring Utley and Rowand and putting the Phils up 3-2.  Barajas hit it to the warning track in left to end the inning.

With two outs in the second, Victorino hit a grounder to second that Tad Iguchi bobbled.  Victorino was safe at first on the error and Utley made the White Sox pay with a long home run to right, putting the Phils up 5-2.  Howard grounded back to the pitcher to end the inning.

Rowand was hit by a pitch again to start the second, the second time he had been hit by a breaking ball.  Burrell hit the ball to the track in left-center for the first out.  Dobbs followed with another hit, this one into left, sending Rowand to second.   Barajas hit into a double-play to end the inning.

With the Phils up 5-2 in the fourth, Hamels started the frame with a single.  Rollins doubled to right, sending Hamels to third.  Victorino hit a soft liner to third for the first out, but Utley followed with a single that scored both runners and put the Phils up 7-2.  Utley went to second on the throw home, so the White Sox walked Howard intentionally.  Rowand hit a ground ball to short that was turned into a double-play to end the inning.

Burrell started the fifth with a walk, but Dobbs followed with a popup to second.  Barajas was next and smashed a ball off the top of the wall in left-center, sending Burrell to third.  Hamels struck out and Rollins popped to third, so the Phils got nothing out of second and third with one out.

Utley singled with one out in the sixth, but Howard was next and hit into a double-play.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh with Burrell being robbed by Gonzalez at third on a ball hit hard down the line for the second out.

1-2-3 in the eighth.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with a double.

Victorino was 1-for-4.

Utley was 3-for-3 with a home run and four RBI. 

Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Rowand was 0-for-2 and twice hit by a pitch.

Burrell 0-for-2 with two walks and an RBI.

Dobbs was 2-for-4 with two RBI. 

Barajas was 1-for-4 with a double and left four men on base.  He hit the ball better than that.

Righty Kyle Kendrick (NR) makes his debut this afternoon and will be facing lefty John Danks (3-6, 4.38).  Kendrick comes up from Double-A Reading to make the start, where he was 4-7 with a 3.21 ERA.  At Double-A Kendrick allowed more than a hit an innings, 82 hits in 81 1/3 innings, but walked just 18 and allowed just three home runs.  He struck out 50, which means he's not overpowering anyone even at Double-A.  The Phils might need to score some runs if they want to get the sweep.  On the other hand, if you're going to come up from Double-A to make your debut it might as well be against baseball's worst offensive team.  My guess would be that Kendrick's start will demonstrate further that the Phils are going to have a problem replacing Garcia in the rotation, especially if they continue with their plans to put Myers in the pen when he returns (at least two weeks).  Danks, who was taken with the ninth pick in the 2003 draft by the Rangers, turned 22 in April and has made 11 starts for the White Sox this season.  The rest of his numbers aren't quite as impressive as his ERA.  He's allowed 69 hits and 26 walks on the season in 61 2/3 innings.  He's given up 11 home runs.  Righties are hitting .289 against him, lefties .250.  He's gone less than six innings in each of his last three starts. 

The Phillies sent Clay Condrey to Triple-A to make room for Kendrick on the roster (see article linked above).

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