For the Phillies offense, scratching out a few runs against the Braves starter Derek Lowe was not going to be an easy task. So Hamels knew he had to be sharp. As expected, a pitcher’s duel broken out in Atlanta.
Hamels was on a mission. Through seven strong innings, he allowed only four hits, no runs and struck out eight batters. Even better, Hamels looked relaxed and in control, able to work out of what little trouble he got into.
The offense did manage to post a few runs for Hamels, mostly due to a spectacular game from Shane Victorino. Going 3-for-4 at the plate, Victorino hit two singles and a home run. The other run scored when Jimmy Rollins hit into a double play with no outs, allowing Victorino to score in the fourth.
Carlos Ruiz also continued his hot streak with two hits. Then in the ninth inning, Rollins got his first hit of the game, a double that landed him on third base after a Braves error. Ryan Howard was able to get Rollins home on a ground ball out, giving the Phillies an insurance run and a 3-0 lead.
Jose Contreras entered in the ninth to save the game in what would be a very good test of his skills as a closer. With rookie second baseman Michael Martinez making a few nice defensive plays plus good pitching, Contreras got the job done.
The Phillies won the series with the Braves two games to one. After a day off on Monday, the Phillies will take on the Nationals in D.C. on Tuesday.
You Be The Judge
Totally off topic, have you seen the new MLB campaign “Always Epic“? Released on March 31, 2011, Giants closer Brian Wilson stars in a video series that covers various adventures inside Wilson’s beard.
The video with the tiny ninja’s is especially interesting. Follow the link to watch it.
Back on February 22, 2011, I posted that exact idea on this MLBlogs site, except I used the beard of Raul Ibanez. I was making a joke about the magical powers of the Ibanez beard and decided tiny ninja’s would be funny. Apparently, MLB liked it as well:
So, coincidence or did MLB totally rip off my idea? You be the judge.
Perhaps it is simply that great minds think alike. In which case, I expect a job offer from MLB any day now.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography