Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Phillies-Nationals: Hamels In Top Form

Cole Hamels entered Tuesday nights game against the Washington Nationals having come off a complete game shut out last week against the Atlanta Braves. His first shut out of his career and third complete game.

The Phillies entered the game as a whole looking for a spark, as they struggled to find offense against the Nationals on Monday night and were looking to put an end to their three game losing streak that found them dropping to third in the division. Coming off the 4-0 loss on Monday gave the Phils a record of 1-3 against the Nat's this season, and they needed to find a way to win against their division rival.

Hamels appeared to have the answer. For the second straight game, the Phils ace pitched 7 shutout innings striking out 11 and only allowing four hits. Hamels was taken out in the eighth inning though after throwing 110 pitches. He tossed 130 in his complete game last week and was likely on a count this week so as to not wear out his arm.

In true competitive form, Jason Bergmann for the Nationals also managed to pitch 7 scoreless innings keeping the Phils off the board for 16 consecutive innings in this series. As both teams turned the game over to the bullpen in the eighth it would be a battle of relievers. Luckily for the Phils, they won the battle.

In the top of the ninth, after a lead off double from Pedro Feliz, Gregg Dobbs singled on a line drive to center and brought home the eventual winning run. Brad Lidge entered in the bottom of the ninth and collected his 11 save of the season for the Phils.

Wednesday they send Jamie Moyer to the mound to try to win the series against the Nats and climb back to the top of the division.

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