Eight teams have won today by more than four runs, five of those teams scoring over ten runs. Hopefully the Phillies can pull off a similar feat against the Padres.
TOP 1st8:18 - I'm starting a little late, but it's still the top of the first and the Phillies are up 1-0 on a Jayson Werth sac fly to score Jimmy Rollins. A good start for a struggling offense. Ryan Howard is on first with Pat Burrell at the plate.
8:20 - Pat Burrell does what he probably does best nowadays - walks.
8:23 - But...Victorino grounds out to second base, leaving Burrell and Howard stranded. At least they gave Cole Hamels a tad of breathing room.
8:29 - Cole Hamels gets a 1-2-3 inning. Another good start for Cole Hamels. Hopefully the offense and bullpen will help him out this time.
8:34 - The bottom of the Phillies lineup goes down in order. Sadly, Cole Hamels' batting average is down to .276. That's still higher than Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and Pat Burrell.
8:36 - Adrian Gonzalez gets the first hit for the Padres. Alas, Hamels' no hitter is gone. By the way, Adrian Gonzalez is also batting .276, but has 28 more home runs. Hamels has given up five fewer home runs than Gonzalez has hit.
8:41 - Hamels gets the next three batters out without any trouble. Take that, Adrian.
8:50 - Chase Utley is hit by a pitch. Cha Seung Baek hasn't been throwing balls in the strike zone, which will likely come back to hurt him the next time around the lineup. Pat Burrell could be taking quite a few strolls down to first base tonight.
8:52 - Ryan Howard hacks and misses a pitch to end the inning. That's 159 on the season. Only 40 more to break his own record.
8:56 - Luke Carlin is up to bat, hitting a whopping .147. Looks like he could use some tips from King Cole. His battery mate, Cha-Cha Baek has a higher batting average, not that .167 is anything to boast about. He grounds out to shortstop, but his average goes up a point anyway.
8:58 - Just as I say that, Cha-Cha Baek singles to right, raising his own average to .211. Luke Carlin must feel depressed.
9:01 - Neither Scott Hairston nor Brian Giles are able to help out their pitcher. Brian Giles is wondering if he'd have been in this situation if he'd gone to the Red Sox. Actually, he definitely wouldn't since the pitcher wouldn't be hitting.
9:05 - Pat Burrell has to run to first this time as he singles.
9:12 - No one is able to help Burrell out as Shane Victorino, Greg Dobbs, and Carlos Ruiz all get out.
9:14 - Hamels has needed only 33 pitches thus far. At this rate, he could get a complete game in under 100 pitches.
9:15 - Victorino catches a long fly ball from Kevin Kouzmanoff at the wall. Hamels hits Adrian Gonzalez on the first pitch. He doesn't want to risk Gonzalez raising his batting average - those two have a stiff competition going.
9:17 - Hamels gets his first strikeout of the night by getting Chase Headley looking. Strange that it took him five innings to get it, but he hasn't thrown enough pitches to strike anyone else out.
9:20 - Hamels grounds out. He looks particularly dejected as he turns away from Adrian Gonzalez: he knows he's falling behind. He can't compete with a camouflaged Adrian Gonzalez. By the way, I missed the explanation behind the camouflage uniforms and am still slightly confused by them.
9:24 - Werth gets a two out single to center. One would think that with Utley, Howard, and Burrell coming up, it would make a difference. Nowadays it's a total crapshoot.
9:26 - Cha-Cha Baek's avoidance of the strike zone results in a passed ball. Jayson Werth only gets to second thanks to a quick reaction by Luke Carlin. Carlin still can't believe he's batting lower than a guy who can barely even find the strike zone when he pitches.
9:29 - Chase Utley strikes out swinging. He's batting .228 in August. Not exactly MVP numbers.
9:36 - Luke Carlin grounds out, but doesn't feel too bad about it as Cha-Cha Baek grounds out to end the inning. By the way, Hamels has thrown fewer total pitches than Baek has thrown balls (54-57 respectively). Hamels has thrown only 11 balls.
9:42 - Ryan Howard strikes out swinging at, surprise surprise, a low changeup. It's amazing that the Phillies hitters continue to be surprised by Baek throwing outside the strike zone. But Pat Burrell shows why Cha-Cha Baek doesn't throw into the strike zone by hitting his second home run of the series, his 29th on the year. 2-0 Phillies. Pat caught on to Cha-Cha's shenanigans quickly.
9:47 - Greg Dobbs gives Cha-Cha Baek his fifth strikeout of the night by swinging at another low pitch. Everyone else in the lineup is jealous of Pat Burrell's eagle eye or clairvoyance, they're not sure which one he has. By the way, Cole Hamels ended the 6th with 54 pitches thrown. Cha-Cha Baek ended the 6th with 105.
9:51 - It looks like Cha-Cha's night is nearly over as Mike Adams starts to warm up in the bullpen. Didn't Mike Adams use to be good once upon a time? I seem to recall him being good with the Brewers at one point. *Looking up his stats* Yes, Mike Adams had two good years with the Brewers in 2004 and 2005. The Brewers then gave up on him after two poor outings in 2006. He's now resurfaced with the Padres and been quite good.
9:55 - Adrian Gonzalez comes to bat with his .276 average intact and a batter on first. He hits a line drive that is nearly snagged by Utley, but results in moving Kouzmanoff to second and getting himself to first.
9:56 - Chase Headley hits a single over Rollins head while breaking his *cough probably maple cough* bat. Kevin Kouzmanoff scores, cutting the Phillies' lead in half. Still 2-1 Phillies.
9:58 - Hamels gets out of the jam by getting Edgar Gonzalez to ground out to short to end the inning. Beyond Chase Headley, the Padres don't have a very intimidating lineup.
10:02 - Mike Adams has indeed come into the game to relieve Cha-Cha Baek. Cole Hamels gets a bloop single to left. One can see the gleam is his eye as he approaches Adrian Gonzalez at first, knowing that he's just boosted his average up to .283. Adrian has some catching up to do.
10:05 - Luke Carlin passes another ball and Cole Hamels advances to second. That's his third on the night. Apparently his camouflage is working so well that even the pitchers can't find him.
10:08 - Adams strikes out Jayson Werth looking to end the inning. Werth was probably surprised to see a pitch within the strike zone.
10:14 - Luke Carlin and pinch hitter Jody Gerut get back to back singles. The go-ahead run is now on first with one out and the top of the lineup coming up. Carlin feels particularly good about himself as he just upped his batting average by ten points.
10:16 - The Phillies get out of the jam by fielding a double play. Hamels seemed to know he could count on Rollins and Utley getting that done. Despite the two hits, Hamels needed less than 10 pitches to get through that inning. He now has 81 on the night, 61 of which have been strikes.
10:19 - Lefty Wilfredo Ledezma comes in to relieve Mike Adams with Utley and Howard coming up, and Scott Hairston is banished to the bench after hitting that double play and is replaced by Jody Gerut. Actually, that has more to do with the fact that Hairston just batted. Ledezma starts off the inning by walking Chase Utley.
10:22 - Howard strikes out for the third time tonight and Brian Falkenborg is brought in to face Pat Burrell. Ledezma exits the game after completing half his job.
10:26 - Falkenborg gets Pat Burrell to ground into a double play to end the inning.
10:29 - The Phillies outfield is realigned with Jayson Werth shifting to left and Geoff Jenkins coming in to play right. Once again, hitting into a double play leads to banishment to the bench. Baseball is a ruthless world, no room for mistakes... Ryan Howard's strikeouts not withstanding.
10:30 - Hamels starts off the inning by striking out Giles. Only his third on the night. Kouzmanoff grounds out and now it's the classic matchup of Hamels vs. Adrian Gonzalez.
10:34 - Adrian Gonzalez flies out to end the inning. The Phillies have J.C. Romero loosening up, but they probably won't use him. More likely Brad Lidge will start warming up or they might even let Hamels finish it. Meanwhile, Trevor Hoffman is warming up for the Padres.
10:39 - Hamels is done for the night as Lidge has started to warm up in the bullpen. Meanwhile, Falkenborg strikes out Greg Dobbs. Dobbs is now 0-4 on the night with 2 strikeouts. Getting Pedro Feliz back will be a huge sigh of relief for this team.
10:43 - Carlos Ruiz gets his first hit of the night. I'm not sure why I say that as if he was expected to regularly get hits.
10:44 - Pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett ends the inning by hitting a ball which Kevin Kouzmanoff gets with a jump and stretch and throws to second for the force out. Brad Lidge will have to make do with a one run lead.
10:49 - Lidge starts off the ninth nicely by striking out Chase Headley. Meanwhile, Charlie Manuel looks like he's falling asleep.
10:51 - Lidge strikes out Edgar Gonzalez on a close call. According to first base umpire James Hoye, Gonzalez couldn't quite check his bat.
10:53 - Lidge walks Brian Myrow and Sean Kazmar is in to pinch run. No Phillies victory is ever easy...
10:55 - Luke Carlin strikes out to end the inning and the game. He's not going to hear the end of this from Cha-Cha Baek.
So Cole Hamels finally gets a win after another fantastic start and the Phillies are able to keep from falling further behind the Mets as they take two of three from the Padres.