Welcome back to the West Coast, Cole! Hamels loves pitching in California, and it shows. He began the 4-games series with the Dodgers last night with a 5-hit shutout and tossed only 97 pitches in the process. Cole’s left arm looked more like a sledgehammer to the opposition, who struggled to squeak out those few hits. The 3-0 win was the first shut-out of the season for the Phillies who had not blanked a team since August 20, 2008. This win also marks the 7th straight for the Phightins.
While Hamels was on with his location and pitch selection, the offense was mostly off, but 3 runs got the job done. Jayson Werth had 2 hits in the game, which he needed badly in light of his recent struggles at the plate. His old team turned out to be the inspiration he needed. Carlos Ruiz hit well again also, with 2 hits and a walk in the game. Chase Utley extended his hit steak to 9 games, while Ryan Howard ended his 7-game stretch and came away with 1 walk in the game.
Concern for Jimmy Rollins has been mounting as he continues to look perplexed with a bat in his hands. The 3-time All-Star and former MVP cannot seem to find a groove. Rollins went 0-5 last night and his batting average now sits at an anemic .224. Just when it looks like he may emerge from the slump, he has a game like last night. But the rest of the line-up seems to be making up for his lack of solid contact, so this is as good a time as any to be working out his issues. Hope remains that Rollins will get the wheels back on the wagon soon.
Shane Victorino sat again today, nursing a hip injury. He says he is fine, and just giving the hip a break. Victorino strained the hip while rounding the bases on Thursday night against the Padres. His bat will be missed if the injury keeps him out for any length of time as Victorino had been hot at the plate before the incident. But early reports indicate he is day to day and should return soon.
In other baseball news, Randy Johnson of the Giants notched career win #300 yesterday against the Nationals. I actually had tickets to the game, which was supposed to take place Wednesday night, but it was rained out. So, I missed the historical game, but I did get an autograph from Giants manager, Bruce Bochy and also had an unusual “tour” of the basement in Nationals Park while I watched the rain. The employees took pity on me and let me hang out under the park to stay out of the rain; one nice young lady even brought me a chair :O) I was right next to the Giants clubhouse too, which was tempting, but I did not want to get tossed out from my warm and comfy rain hide-out, so I behaved. 4 hours later, they finally called the game, but here are a few things I saw before that:
I have a new appreciation for the people who wear those heavy and uncomfortable mascot outfits.
So, on to the next game! Jamie Moyer will take the mound tonight in another late start of 10:10pm against the Dodgers. I do not know about you, but the lack of sleep this week is beginning to make me a tad fuzzy. TGIF! I will catch up on sleep tomorrow :O)
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Photos by Jenn
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