The Philadelphia Phillies have not been kind to Cole Hamels this season. In 17 starts this season, Hamels has only managed to earn four wins. On a normal baseball team, that would be a pretty bad ratio for any pitcher. On the Phillies, it’s just another pitcher who doesn’t get very much run support.
In Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, Hamels didn’t receive much run support again, but he didn’t need it. Hamels pitched seven strong innings, allowing four hits, one run, no walks and striking out nine batters on only 95 pitches – 71 of which were strikes. Ken Giles pitched a one-hit eighth inning, striking out two batters and Jonathan Papelbon earned his 23rd save of the season on only five pitches in the ninth.
Jimmy Rollins hit his 12th home run of the season in the seventh inning to give the Phillies the lead the rest of the way. Grady Sizemore continues to remind fans of the player we saw in Cleveland a few years ago. He brought his National League batting line to .400/.455/.500 with three hits and one walk in five plate appearances. Manager Ryne Sandberg can say that Ben Revere hasn’t lost the starting job all he wants, but I don’t believe him. If Marlon Byrd is traded in the coming weeks, don’t be surprised to see Revere, Sizemore, and Domonic Brown getting most of the reps in the outfield.
For the Braves, Chris Johnson drove in the only run of the night on a double in the bottom part of the seventh inning. Aaron Harang only pitched six innings for Atlanta, allowing five hits, three walks, and four strikeouts. Shae Simmons got the lost for the Braves, allowing two runs on two hits and a strikeout.
The Phillies and Braves will play the rubber match Sunday at 1:35pm ET. The pitching matchup will be Alex Wood (6-7) for Atlanta and Kyle Kendrick (4-9) for the Phils.
Other Notes: Carlos Ruiz is expected to make his return sometime next week when the Phillies return to Citizens Bank Park. Cliff Lee is also scheduled to make his first start since May on July 21st in the first of a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
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