If you’ve been confused by Cole Hamels over the past couple of years, last night’s outing probably isn’t going to help much. Hamels was awesome, throwing hard and deep into the game. It was his second start of the season that was absolutely fantastic — in his other four outings he’s thrown to a 6.35 ERA and allowed 28 hits and ten walks in 22 2/3 innings.
He took a 1-0 lead into the top of the ninth last night. The Cards did tie the game up, but Ruiz sent the Phillies fans home happy when he hammered a Blake Hawksworth offering in the tenth out to left to give the Phils a 2-1 win. Ruiz drove in both of the Phillies runs in the game.
Hamels wasn’t the only Phillies pitcher who has struggled recently that came up big last night. The game also featured an impressive outing by Brad Lidge. Lidge entered in the ninth inning with nobody out and a man on second and got out of it, blowing away Brendan Ryan with one out and men on first and third before getting a fly ball to center to end the threat. It wasn’t quite striking out Eric Hinske to win the World Series and end a post-season that saw him allow one run in 9 1/3 innings while striking out 13, but now is not the time to quibble.
The Phillies are 15-11 on the season after beating the St Louis Cardinals 2-1 in ten innings last night.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing one run on eight hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out eight.
He threw a 1-2-3 first.
He struck out Matt Holliday and David Freese to start the second before Yadier Molina singled to left. Joe Mather grounded to short to end the frame.
He set the Cards down in order in the third.
Hamels walked Ryan Ludwick on five pitches to start the fourth. Albert Pujols was next and flew to Ibanez in shallow left for the first out. Hamels struck out Matt Holliday for the second out before Freese moved Ludwick to second with a single to left. Molina hit a ball back up the middle, but Castro made a nice play to get the Phils out of the frame. He fielded behind second and made a strong throw to get Molina for the third out.
Very nice play by Castro, who has been solid defensively filling in for Rollins.
Joe Mather singled to start the fifth. The pitcher Wainwright tried to bunt him to second but struck out for the first out. Brendan Ryan hit a ground ball to short with Mather forced at second for the second out. A Tyler Greene single to center moved Ryan to third and Ludwick walked to load the bases for Pujols. Pujols popped to Utley on the first pitch from Hamels for the third out.
Holliday singled to start the sixth, but Freese grounded into a double-play behind him. Yadier Molina singled and stole second, but Mather struck out to leave him stranded.
Hamels mowed the Cards down in order in the seventh and again in the eighth.
He started the ninth up 1-0. Freese led off and lined a double to center. Molina was next and he doubled into to right field corner, scoring Freese and tying the game at 1-1. Manuel brought in Lidge to face the righty Mather. Lefty Skip Schumaker hit for Mather and moved Molina to third with a ground out to Howard. Lefty Colby Rasmus hit for the pitcher Wainwright and Lidge walked him intentionally. It brought up Ryan with one out and men on first and third and Lidge struck him out swinging at three pitches in a row. Lefty Jon Jay flew to center to leave both runners stranded.
Lidge comes up huge in a big spot for the Phils, entering a tie game in the ninth with a man on second and nobody out and keeping him from scoring. Striking out Ryan with one out and men on first and third was enormous.
Contreras pitched the tenth. He allowed a one out double to Pujols, but struck Holliday out behind him and got Freese to pop to first to end the frame.
Contreras threw 16 pitches in the game and Lidge 12. That’s two good outings in a row for Lidge, who has struck out three in two innings over his last two times out. Contreras has now struck out 14 in 7 2/3 innings for the year and allowed one run. Opponents are hitting .185 against him and he hasn’t walked a batter.
The Phillies lineup against righty Adam Wainwright went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Castro (8) Ruiz. Nothing new there with Castro at short and Victorino hitting leadoff with Rollins on the DL.
The Phils went in order in the first.
Ibanez walked with two outs in the second, but Castro struck out behind him.
Ruiz chopped a double down the third base line and into the left field corner to start the third. Hamels bunted right in front of the plate. Molina pounced on the ball and threw to third. Freese put down a high tag on Ruiz, but Ruiz was called out for the first out. Victorino followed with a single to left that moved Hamels to second. Polanco hit a double-play ball to short, but Tyler Greene’s relay to first was in the first and Pujols didn’t pick it cleanly. It put men on first and third with two down for Utley, but Utley flew to center.
Molina made a nice play on Hamels bunt, but the pitchers need to do a better job with the bunts or stop bunting. Blanton bunted into two double-plays in Monday night’s game.
Werth singled to center with one out in the fourth and Ibanez walked behind him. Castro hit into a double-play to end the inning.
The Phils went in order in the fifth.
Polanco hit a ball to third that Freese didn’t handle to start the sixth. Polanco wound up on second on the two-base error. Utley moved him to third with a ground ball to second. Howard was next and hit a ball hard on the ground to first, but Pujols took it and beat Howard to first for the second out with Polanco holding third. Werth grounded softly to third on a nice play by Freese to leave Polanco stranded.
No run for the Phils with one out and a man on third. Howard hit the ball hard, just right to Pujols. He’s on pace to drive in 112 runs this year, which would be his lowest mark for a season in which he got 350 plate appearances.
Ibanez tripled to right center to start the seventh. Castro grounded to short with Ibanez holding for the first out. Ruiz was next, though, and he hit a fly ball to right deep enough to score Ibanez and put the Phils up 1-0. Hamels hit for himself and struck out for the third out.
No RBI for Castro with one out and a man on third.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth.
The game was tied at 1-1 when they hit in the ninth with lefty Dennys Reyes on in relief for Wainwright. Reyes walked Howard and righty Blake Hawksworth came in to pitch to Werth. Werth struck out for the first out. Ibanez got to hit against the righty, but he flew to center for the second out. Castro grounded to second to end the inning.
Ruiz faced Hawksworth in the tenth. He hit a laser on the first pitch he saw, way out to left but foul. He got ahead 2-1 and then straightened it out, popping one over the fence in left to give the Phils a 2-1 win.
Victorino was 1-for-4.
Polanco 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He’s 3-for-his-last-21.
Utley 0-for-4 and left three men on base.
Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk.
Werth 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
Ibanez was 1-for-2 with a huge triple and a pair of walks. 293/400/512 over his last 50 plate appearances.
Castro was 0-for-4 to drop his average to .254. He left five men on base.
Ruiz was 2-for-3 with a double and a home run. He drove in both of the runs that the Phillies scored.
Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 7.61) faces righty Brad Penny (3-1, 1.56) tonight. Kendrick has made five starts — one was great and the other four were very bad. Penny hasn’t allowed a home run in his five starts. Righties are hitting .197 against him for the year.
Ryan Madson will be out for at least eight weeks. That’s atrocious.
Shane Victorino and Nelson Figueroa share their opinions on the use of a taser against a fan during Monday’s game in this article.
I added a section to the Start Log that shows the pace the Phillies are on for runs scored and runs allowed.