The Phils might not be able to hit in 2011, but they sure can pitch. Last night Cole Hamels and Ryan Madson made the most of the two runs the offense provided. Hamels spun eight fantastic innings and Madson shut down the Rockies in the ninth, converting his seventh save in seven tries and dropping his ERA on the year to 0.53.
Hamels lowered his ERA on the year to 2.92 with another outstanding outing. Over his last eight starts he’s pitched to a 2.19 ERA with an 0.90 ratio and thrown 59 innings — that’s an average of more than 7 1/3 innings per start.
Wilson Valdez was as close as the Phils could come to an offensive hero. Valdez went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, driving in the first run for the Phils and scoring the second.
The Phillies didn’t have an extra-base hit in the game. They are slugging .338 in May, which is 14th-best in the NL. They are 14th in batting average and 15th in on-base percentage for the month.
The Phillies are 26-16 on the year after beating the Colorado Rockies 2-1 last night.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out eight.
Dexter Fowler grounded to short to start the game, but Hamels walked Alfredo Amezaga on four pitches behind him. Carlos Gonzalez followed that with a single to right. Amezaga tried to take third, but Mayberry threw him out at third for the second out. Troy Tulowitzki flew to center to leave Gonzalez at first.
Nice throw by Mayberry changes the inning.
Todd Helton grounded to second to start the second. Jose Lopez was next and he singled into center, but was forced at second when Ryan Spilborghs followed with a ground ball to short. Spilborghs was thrown out trying to steal second to set Colorado down.
Hamels had gotten six outs in the game and two of them came on the bases.
He threw a 1-2-3 third, getting Chris Iannetta on a ground ball to third, the pitcher Jorge De La Rosa swinging 0-2 and Fowler on a ground ball to third.
Hamels struck out Gonzalez and Tulowitzki in a 1-2-3 fourth.
He struck Helton out for the first out of the fifth. Lopez and Spilborghs went down on ground balls behind Helton.
Struck out Iannetta and De La Rosa in a 1-2-3 sixth with the Phils up 1-0.
Gonzalez doubled off the wall in left-center with one out in the seventh. Tulowitzki grounded to third for the second out with Gonzalez holding second, but Helton was next and he doubled to right, scoring Gonzalez to tie the game at 1-1. Lopez flew to center to leave Helton at second.
Spilborghs led off the eighth with a single. Iannetta lined to left for the first out and De La Rosa stayed in the game and bunted Spilborghs to second with the second. Hamels struck Fowler out swinging 2-2 to leave Spilborghs stranded.
Madson started the ninth with a 2-1 lead. Lefty Seth Smith hit for the pitcher Alfredo Amezaga and doubled into the left field corner. Madson struck out Gonzalez and Tulowitzki behind Smith and then put the lefty Helton on intentionally after pitching around him and getting behind 3-0. Lefty Jason Giambi hit for righty Jose Lopez. Madson got behind Giambi 2-0, but struck him out swinging 2-2 to end the game.
Gonzalez and Tulowitzki are impressive fellows to strike out with the tying run on second base. Madson threw 24 pitches in the game.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Jorge De La Rosa went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Martinez plays center for the second straight day with Victorino sidelined with a hamstring problem. Francisco on the bench against the lefty with the lefty Ibanez in left and the righty Mayberry in right. Apparently back-to-back lefties was enough to get Ibanez into the lineup. The righty Valdez plays second.
The Phils went in order in the first and the second.
Ruiz led off the third with a single and moved up to second on a ground out by Valdez, but Hamels struck out looking for the second out and Rollins grounded to third to leave him stranded.
Martinez, Polanco and Howard went in order in the fourth.
Ibanez singled to right with one out in the fifth and Ruiz was hit by a pitch behind hm. The runners moved up to second and third before Valdez singled into left, scoring Ibanez to put the Phils up 1-0 with one out and men on first and third. Hamels grounded into a double-play to keep the Phils from getting more.
Hamels swings away and it doesn’t work out for the Phils.
Rollins started the sixth with a single to left and Martinez bunted him to second. Polanco flew to right for the second out before Rollins stole third, but Howard flew to left to leave him there.
The game was tied at 1-1 when the Phils hit in the seventh. Ibanez and Ruiz both struck out as the Phils went in order.
Valdez led off the eighth with a single to left. Victorino hit for Hamels and bunted him to second. Valdez took third on a wild pitch before Rollins hit a fly ball to right for the second out, deep enough for Valdez to tag and score, putting the Phils up 2-1. Martinez grounded to short for the third out.
Valdez starts the rally that puts the Phils ahead after driving in the first run of the game in the fifth. In both innings the Phillies scored they get helped by a passed ball or wild pitch.
Rollins was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Martinez was 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 7-for-32 with seven singles and a 219/265/219 line for the year.
Polanco was 0-for-3. He’s hitting 211/246/246 in May.
Howard 0-for-3. 161/268/339 over his last 71 plate appearances.
Mayberry was 0-for-3 with a nice throw to get Amezaga at third. 205/326/410 over his last 46 plate appearances.
Ibanez 1-for-3 with a strikeout. He hasn’t been any worse against lefties than righties this year. A little better, actually. 222/282/389 against lefties and 226/281/321 against righties. As bad as he’s been, I think Francisco needs to be starting against lefties given the current roster and production of Ibanez.
Ruiz was 1-for-2. He’s 3-for-his-last-37.
Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.50) faces righty Jhoulys Chacin (4-2, 2.89) tonight. Opponents are hitting just .211 against Chacin for the year, but he’s walked 12 in 19 innings over his last three starts. Blanton’s elbow saga continues. He hasn’t gone more than five innings in either of his last two starts.
This article suggests that Utley could be back before the end of the homestand and Brown within a couple of weeks.