Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dobbs RBI Enough For King Cole

Cole Hamels dominated the Nationals with seven shutout innings. However, so did Jason Bergmann of the Nationals. It took an RBI single from pinch hitter Greg Dobbs in the ninth inning to score pinch runner Eric Bruntlett to get a run in the game, and that would be the only run of the game as the Phillies beat the Nationals 1-0.

Hamels was left with a no-decision despite a stellar performance, allowing only four hits and striking out 11, matching his season-high. Tom Gordon and Brad Lidge pitched shutout eighth and ninth innings, though Lidge had a little trouble in the ninth. He didn't allow a hit and struck out two, but with two outs, he walked Elijah Dukes, who proceeded to steal second and third base, putting the tying run in scoring position. Pinch hitter Rob Mackowiak was then walked, but with runners on the corners, Felipe Lopez grounded out to Utley.

Jason Bergmann wasn't particularly dominating on the mound, allowing five hits and striking out five, but the Phillies left ten players on base and kept flying out. The only extra base hit was a double by Chase Utley. The Phillies seem to have a lot of trouble hitting the Nationals pitching. Ryan Howard, supposedly emerging from his slump, was the cause for three of the six strikeouts on the night, and the two most productive players in the lineup were six and seven hitters Geoff Jenkins and Pedro Feliz with two hits apiece. The offensive threat at the bottom of the lineup was one of this team's strengths, but it doesn't do a whole lot of good unless the top of the lineup hits as well. Jenkins now has a higher batting average than Pat Burrell. If it were any other starting pitcher, the Phillies would most definitely have lost this game. Even with Brett Myers and Jamie Moyer, the team has to assume that the offense will need to score more than three runs. But luckily, tonight King Cole reigned supreme. Hamels now has pitched nineteen scoreless innings. He laughed at the notion of chasing Orel Hersheiser's record, but if he continues to pitch like this, maybe it won't be such a stretch.

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