September 15 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“After Cole Hamels threw a career-high 127 pitches, someone told the Phillies lefthander he would pitch next in five days to begin a critical series against Atlanta at Citizens Bank Park.
“Is it five days?” Hamels asked. No, a reporter said, it’s actually six.
“Yeah,” Hamels said, “I was like, ‘Wait. I need an extra day off.’ ”
Luckily for the Phillies and their lefthander, he will have one after beating the Florida Marlins, 2-1, Tuesday night at Sun Life Stadium.
Thirteen of the 22 outs Hamels recorded were strikeouts, the most any Phillies pitcher has had in 2010. Hamels allowed a first-inning run to snap his 25-inning scoreless streak, but he was every bit as dominant as he has been.
Coupled with Atlanta’s loss to Washington, the Phillies have a two-game lead in the National League East, their largest lead since May 26.
With Roy Halladay headed to the mound Wednesday against a collection of Florida relievers (originally Josh Johnson was supposed to start, but a strained back muscle left the Marlins scrambling for a starter), the Phillies have to feel very good about the possibility of sweeping the series.
They also have to feel good about Brad Lidge, their closer who pitched for the first time in eight days. He saved the one-run victory with a 16-pitch, 1-2-3 ninth inning. His stuff was sharp, Charlie Manuel said.
They’ve felt good about Hamels for quite some time now. The lefthander has arguably been the best pitcher in the league since the all-star break. His 1.79 ERA in 12 starts is tops in the league. So are his 94 strikeouts.
His 9.3 strikeouts-per-nine-innings ratio is the best since his rookie season in 2006, when he fanned 9.9 batters per nine innings.
Twenty-two of Hamels‘ 127 pitches (or 17.3 percent) were swung at and missed by the Marlins. Before Tuesday, opposing batters had swung and missed at Hamels’ pitches 11.6 percent of the time.
Even then, Hamels said, the Marlins hitters were more patient than usual. The manager agreed.
“They were very disciplined on him,” Manuel said.
His stuff was moving Tuesday. All of his strikeouts were either on a fastball or change-up. According to Pitch f/x data, Hamels threw just 19 cutters and curveballs combined. His most reliable pitches remain the two that first established him as a major-league starter.”
PhillySportsCentral.com – Philadelphia sports news, rumors, blog, & message board discussion forums