The 5-game suspension Cole Hamels received for smacking Nationals rookie Bryce Harper with a pitch last week turned out to be sort of a joke. With the off day on Thursday, the Phillies were able to rearrange the rotation, pitching Roy Halladay yesterday and Hamels today. So as it turns out, Hamels did not even miss a start.
And the Phillies are sure glad he did not. Hamels was solid in the 3-2 win over the Padres, allowing just 1 run and 5 hits over 7 innings.
The offense was a little stale, as usual, but they managed 3 runs. This time, that turned out to be enough. Jimmy Rollins got it started in the 1st with a leadoff homer. Brian Schneider gave Carlos Ruiz most of the day off and helped out with 2 hits and an RBI. Juan Pierre collected 2 hits, 1 RBI and continues to be the Phillies best hitter with a .351 average. I am not sure anyone saw that coming when he won a spot on the team out of spring training. But we’ll take it.
Hunter Pence, on the other hand, continues to struggle. Pence looks lost at the plate. He is still swinging at bad pitches, although he showed a little more patience today. But he is pulling off balls; his body goes one way and the bat goes another way…it is very awkward. And it is more awkward than his usual approach, which is almost hard to believe.
The bullpen finally held a lead in this one, although Jose Contreras did give up a run in the 8th making the situation very tenuous. But Antonio Bastardo got him out of the inning without further damage. And Jonathan Papelbon finally got to pitch for a save; it was his first save attempt since May 1st.
Before the game, the Phillies celebrated Mother’s Day. Pierre’s mom, wife and son were greeted on the field and Pierre coddled and played with the infant, which was adorable.
And luckily, the warm fuzzies before the game translated into a win as the Phillies took 2 of 3 from the Padres.
The schedule for the remainder of May gets a little weird now. The Phils will play 2 against the Astros then fly to Chicago for 2 games with the Cubs and return home again to face the Red Sox and Nationals before hitting the road again. Game 1 with the Astros starts at 7:05pm Monday night.
Here is the full Photo Album from today’s game and pre-game warm-up’s and ceremonies.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography