The Nationals won the first two games of the three-game set this weekend, but Cole Hamels made sure people were going to remember game three for a while with last night’s effort. Hamels was great in the game, holding Washington to a run over eight innings as the Phils cruised to a 9-3 with behind Hamels’s arm and a pair of homers from Hunter Pence.
The game was most memorable, though, for the first pitch Hamels delivered to Washington wunderkind Bryce Harper in the bottom of the first — a 93-mile an hour fastball into the small of Harper’s back. Harper stole home later in the inning and Hamels was hit himself in the third. It’s probably not something that will be forgotten, but that might have been the end of things for the time being had it not been for this interview, in which Hamels is quoted as saying, “I was trying to hit him.”
The Phillies are 14-15 on the year after beating the Washington Nationals 9-3 last night. The Nats take the series two games to one. The Phillies are in last place in the NL East, 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Nationals.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on five hits and walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a triple. He struck out eight and dropped his ERA on the year to 2.45. The Phillies have won five of the six games he has started this season.
He got the first two in the bottom of the first before hitting Bryce Harper with the first pitch of Harper’s at-bat. Jayson Werth was next and moved Harper up to third with a single. Harper stole home as Hamels made a throw to try to pick Werth off of first before Chad Tracy popped to Rollins to end the inning.
Hamels walked Wilson Ramos with two outs in the second, but got pitcher Jordan Zimmerman on a fly ball to center for the third out.
Harper singled to left with two outs in the third, but Hamels struck Werth out to leave Harper at first.
Up 3-1, Hamels set the Nats down in order in the fourth.
Ian Desmond tripled to left with two outs in the fifth. Steve Lombardozzi was the next hitter and Hamels got him on a soft ground ball he handled himself to end the inning.
Chad Tracy singled to center with two outs in the sixth. Hamels got Danny Espinosa on a ground ball to third for the third out.
Through six innings, Hamels had thrown 91 pitches.
Still up two runs, Hamels threw a 1-2-3 seventh.
He got the first two in the eighth before Harper doubled to left. Xavier Nady, who took over in right for Werth after Werth injured his wrist, grounded to second for the third out.
Sanches started the ninth with a 9-1 lead. He walked Espinosa with one out. Rick Ankiel was next and he grounded to first, with Espinosa forced at second for the second out. Ramos followed with a single into left that moved Ankiel up to second. Lefty Roger Bernadina hit for the pitcher Tom Gorzelanny and doubled to right, scoring Ankiel (9-2) and moving Ramos up to third. Ian Desmond followed that with an infield single, scoring Ramos (9-3) and moving Bernadina to third. Desmond took second without a throw before Lombardozzi popped to second, ending the game with both runners stranded.
Sanches threw 32 pitches in the game. He has now made two appearances for the Phillies and been bad in both, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks over three innings.
The Phillies lineup against righty Jordan Zimmerman went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Victorino (4) Pence (5) Nix (6) Ruiz (7) Polanco (8) Orr. Pierre in left against the righty. The lefty Orr at second with Galvis on the bench.
The Phils went in order in the first.
Down 1-0, they went in order in the second.
Orr singled to center with one out in the third. Hamels was next and was hit by the first pitch of his at-bat, putting runners on first and second for Rollins. Rollins grounded to first for the second out with the runner moving up to second and third. Pierre grounded to second to leave both runners stranded.
Victorino walked to start the fourth. Pence was next and hit a 1-1 pitch out to center, putting the Phils on top 2-1. Nix singled and moved to second on a ground out by Ruiz. Polanco singled into center, scoring Nix to put the Phils up 3-1. Orr struck out for the second out before Hamels moved Polanco up to second with a single. Rollins flew to center for the third out.
Pierre led off the fifth with a walk, but Victorino grounded into a double-play behind him. Pence grounded to third for the third out.
Nix and Ruiz went down to start the sixth before Polanco lined a ball into right. Werth came in and made a sliding effort but didn’t make the catch, injuring his wrist in the effort. Orr popped to short for the third out.
Zimmerman walked Hamels and Rollins to start the seventh before Pierre bunted for a single that loaded the bases. Righty Craig Stammen came in to pitch to Victorino and Victorino lined to left on a diving play by Harper with the runners holding. Pence was next and hit a ball well to center, but Ankiel took it and Hamels stayed at third (good thing, too, cause Ankiel made an amazing throw to the plate). Stammen stayed in to face the lefty Nix with the bases still loaded and struck Nix out swinging 0-2 to leave the bases loaded.
No run for the Phils after loading the bases with nobody out. I thought it was nutty to let Stammen pitch to Nix, but it worked out great for the Nats. Stammen’s spot was due to hit third in the bottom of the inning.
Lefty Sean Burnett pitched the eighth and set the Phillies down in order. Galvis hit for Orr and flew to left for the third out.
Hamels hit for himself to start the ninth, flying to center off of righty Ryan Perry for the first out. Rollins was next and walked on four pitches. He stole second before Pierre singled into center, scoring Rollins to make it 4-1. Pierre moved up to second as the throw came home. Victorino followed and tripled to right, plating Pierre. 5-1. Pence homered to left. 7-1. Nix flew to center for the second out before Ruiz singled to left. Polanco doubled to left, moving Ruiz up to third. The Nats finally pulled Perry as lefty Tom Gorzelanny took over. Galvis greeted him with a single into center, scoring both runners to make it 9-1. Mayberry hit for Hamels and struck out swinging to end the frame.
Second home run of the game for Pence. First triple of the year for Victorino. He’s got some work to do if he’s going to lead the league in triples. Galvis delivers a two-run single. Hamels hits for himself to start the inning, then doesn’t pitch the bottom of the ninth after the Phils extend the lead to 9-1.
Rollins was 0-for-3 with two walks in yesterday’s game. 1-for-12 with two walks and a double in the series. 223/273/259 for the season with four extra-base hits, all doubles, in 122 plate appearances.
Pierre 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI in the game. 3-for-7 with two walks in the series. 333/388/359 for the year. 5-for-his-last-11. He has walked in about 7.1% of his plate appearances for the season. Over his career he has walked in about 5.7%. His .388 on-base percentage leads the team. Mayberry was 0-for-6 with two strikeouts in the series, dropping his line on the year to 203/217/254.
Victorino 1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. 3-for-12 with two walks, a double and a triple in the set. 246/294/415 on the year.
Pence was 2-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI in the game. 5-for-14 with a double and three home runs in the set. 274/308/487 for the year.
Nix was 1-for-5 in the game and 1-for-7 with two strikeouts in the series. 311/380/578 on the year. Wigginton was 0-for-5 in the series and struck out four times. 0-for-his-last-9. 289/360/408 on the year.
Ruiz was 1-for-5 yesterday and 3-for-12 with a home run in the series. 318/344/565 for the year. Among the 109 NL players with 75 or more plate appearances, his slugging percentage of .565 is eighth.
Polanco 3-for-5 with a double. 4-for-14 with a double in the series. 268/304/309 for the year. 366/395/439 over his last 43 plate appearances. He, Rollins, Galvis and Mayberry all have more than 50 plate appearances for the season and a slugging percentage under .310.
Orr 1-for-3 yesterday and 1-for-5 in the series. 276/300/414 for the year. Galvis was 1-for-2 with two RBI yesterday and 2-for-7 with a double in the series. 198/225/302 on the season.
In Saturday’s game, Worley didn’t pitch well, allowing five runs in six innings, and the Phils didn’t do much against Gio Gonzalez as they fell 7-1. Savery allowed two runs in an inning in relief of Worley. The Phils had just five hits in the game.
Friday the Nats won the opener 4-3. Manuel was ejected early, arguing a checked swing on Harper’s at-bat in the first. Pence put the Phils up with a two-run homer off of Strasburg in the fourth, but Chad Tracy hit a solo shot off of Kendrick in the bottom of the inning to make it 2-1. Ruiz homered in the fifth to extend the lead to 3-1, but the Nats got a run in the sixth charged to Savery and another charged to Qualls in the eighth to tie the game up at 3-3. Schwimmer, back for his third inning after throwing two scoreless frames, allowed a run in the bottom of the eleventh on a pair or singles and a pair of walks.
Schwimer threw 58 pitches in the game. Papelbon did not appear.
Halladay (3-2, 3.40) faces lefty Jon Niese (2-1, 4.08) tonight. Halladay struggled in his last outing, unable to hold a 6-0 lead and allowing eight runs over 5 1/3 innings. Niese was also hit hard in his last start, allowing five runs in three innings in Houston.