Given that there are approximately two people on the planet named Roy who can pitch better than Cole Hamels, you have to wonder what Cole thinks of having both of them on the Phillies and pushing him to the third slot in the rotation. Maybe he doesn’t care at all. Whether he does or not, though, he sure was fantastic yesterday. Hamels allowed a single and a walk over eight shutout innings. It almost wasn’t good enough for a Phillies team struggling to score runs, but Polanco delivered a solo home run in the top of the eleventh and Werth came through with an RBI-double four batters later to get the Phils out with a 2-0 win.
Hamels wasn’t the only pitcher to have a good day. The Phils are counting on Madson and Durbin to bring some stability to the bullpen coming off of injuries. They did just that yesterday as they combined to throw an inning and two-thirds of perfect relief late in the game.
The Phillies are 49-46 on the season after beating the St Louis Cardinals 2-0 in eleven innings yesterday afternoon. The Cards take the series three games to one. The Phils end their eight game road trip at 2-6. They are back in second place in the NL East, seven games behind the Braves.
Hamels got the start for the Phils and went eight shutout innings, allowing a single and a walk. He struck out seven and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.40.
He was perfect through the first four innings, striking out the first five batters he faced.
Matt Holliday singled to left to start the fifth with the game still tied. Allen Craig was next and he popped a ball behind short. Rollins and Victorino converged and Victorino made a nifty sliding catch to record the out. Holliday was way off base and doubled-up easily. Yadier Molina was next and hit a ball to right. Werth came up with the second dazzling defensive play in two batters for the Phils, sliding to catch the ball and holding on with his bare hand to record the third out.
Hamels threw a 1-2-3 sixth. He got another nice defensive play in the inning as Howard made a nifty play on a foul ball hit by Wainwright for the second out.
He set St Louis down in order again in the seventh.
He got the first two in the eight before Molina drew a five-pitch walk. Brendan Ryan was next and Hamels struck him out swinging to end the inning.
Madson threw a 1-2-3 ninth. Hamels had thrown 97 pitches.
Romero started the tenth with Ransom at second after Dobbs hit for Valdez in the top of the inning. He got Rasmus on a ground ball to first and Durbin came in to pitch to righty Albert Pujols. Pujols blasted a ball foul before Durbin struck him out swinging 3-2. Durbin got Holliday on a check-swing roller back to the mound.
Lidge pitched the eleventh with a 2-0 lead. Jay walked and stole second before Molina grounded to first for the first out with Jay holding second. Lefty Skip Schumaker hit for Ryan and hit a ball that Lidge handled for the second out as Jay moved to third. Winn flew to left to end the game.
Romero was pitching for the second day in a row and has thrown four of the last five days. Lidge threw 14 pitches in the game. Everyone else was under ten.
The Phillies lineup against righty Adam Wainwright went (1) Polanco (2) Victorino (3) Ibanez (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Rollins (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Rollins hits sixth again with Polanco and Victorino at the top of the lineup. Ibanez back in left against the righty after a day off. Schneider catches the day game after the night game. Valdez at second against the righty with Dobbs not at second. Start number 50 on the year for Valdez. This time last year, if you had set the over/under for number of games that Wilson Valdez would start for the Phils in 2010 at 0.5, I would have taken the under. Ditto for November 26, a day after they signed him this winter.
Polanco led off the game with a single. Victorino popped the first pitch of his at-bat up to third for the first out before Ibanez singled into center and Polanco moved to second. Howard grounded out on a ball handled by Miles and the runners took second and third with two down. Werth struck out swinging 3-2 to leave both men stranded.
Schneider doubled to right with one out in the second. Valdez followed with a ground out to second and Schneider moved to third. Hamels grounded to second for the third out.
The Phils went in order in the third.
Howard started the fourth with a single. Werth followed with a ground ball to third and Howard was forced at second for the first out. Rollins was next and singled to right, putting men on first and second for Schneider. Schneider struck out swinging before Werth took third on a wild pitch by Wainwright. Valdez grounded to third to leave the runners stranded.
Polanco singled with one out in the fifth, but Molina picked him off for the second out. Victorino grounded to second to end the frame.
The Phils went in order in the sixth.
Schneider singled with one out in the seventh. Valdez hit into a double-play behind him.
Shawon Dunston, look out. Valdez may have lulled Dunston into a false sense of security with his blazing walk rate to start the second half (he has two), but he’s back on the move (15/6) now. In the interest of full disclosure I should probably point out that there’s no way Valdez catches Dunston now that he has six walks. If he didn’t walk again this season he would need to hit into ten more double-plays.
Victorino lined a ball into left with two outs in the eighth. Holliday had troubling picking it up and the error allowed Victorino to take third. Ibanez struck out swinging 1-2 as tradition dictates.
Howard singled off of lefty Denys Reyes to start the ninth. The Cards brought in righty Jason Motte to pitch to Werth. Werth quickly got behind 0-2 and struck out swinging 1-2. Rollins chopped a ball to first. Pujols fielded, stepped on first and threw to second where Howard was tagged out to complete the double-play.
Motte got Schneider to pop to third for the first out of the tenth. Dobbs hit for Valdez and struck out for the second. Gload hit for Madson and flew to center to end the frame.
Polanco led off the tenth and hit a 1-1 pitch from Kyle McClellan out to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Victorino grounded to short for the first out and lefty Trever Miller came in to pitch to Ibanez. Ibanez walked and moved to second when Howard followed with a single. Righty Fernando Salas came in to pitch to Werth and Werth delivered a double to left, scoring Ibanez to make it 2-0 with men on second and third. Rollins was walked intentionally to load the bases for Schneider. Schneider hit a ball back to Salas and Howard was forced at home for the second out. Ransom flew to center to leave the bases loaded.
Polanco was 2-for-5 with a home run in the game. 6-for-18 with a triple and a home run in the series. He’s hitting 319/350/441 for the year.
Victorino 1-for-5 with a double yesterday and a big defensive play in the fifth to turn a double-play. 4-for-17 with two doubles in the series. He has one walk in July in 82 at-bats. He’s hitting 253/314/448 for the year and on-basing .265 this month.
Ibanez 1-for-4 with a walk yesterday. 3-for-13 with two walks in the series. 248/331/392 on the year.
Howard was 3-for-5 with three singles in yesterday’s game and 7-for-17 with a walk, two doubles and a home run in the series. 303/360/545 on the season.
Werth 1-for-5 with an RBI double yesterday. 5-for-15 with two doubles and a walk on the year. 279/369/498 on the year.
Rollins 1-for-4 with a walk yesterday. 3-for-17 with a walk in the series. 184/267/276 in July. 227/326/373 for the year. He’s hitting .183 in 123 plate appearances since coming off the DL.
Schneider was 2-for-5 with a double yesterday. Ruiz caught the other three games and went 2-for-9 with a double and a walk.
Valdez was 0-for-3 yesterday and 0-for-8 with a walk in the series. 239/267/367 on the year. Ransom was 1-for-6 with four strikeouts in the series and is 5-for-25 with the Phillies this season.
Roy Halladay (10-8, 2.40) faces Aaron Cook (4-5, 4.56) tonight in Philadelphia as the Phils and Rockies start a four-game set. Coming off of two excellent starts in a row, Halladay was hit hard his last time out as he allowed six runs in six innings to the Cubs. Cook threw seven shutout innings against the Reds in his last start, but has a 5.83 ERA in his ten starts away from home this season.
This article suggests that Moyer’s injury could end his career.
Happ and Kendrick will fill out the rotation this weekend against the Rockies.
The Phillies fired Milt Thompson as their hitting coach and replaced him with Greg Gross.