Tag Archives: Hamels

Hamels Gets Some Much-Needed Run Support in Phils Win over the Mets

15 Apr

After giving two-run homer in the first, Cole Hamels shuts down the Mets the rest of the way, finishing with 10 strikeouts.

By Chris Murray

For the CM Report

Without the firepower of slugging first baseman Ryan Howard and Chase Utley in their lineup, the Phillies formula for success will simply come down to grinding out games with good pitching and the ability to somehow manufacture with good base running and timely hitting.

On a day when Cole Hamels was mowing down batters with 10 strikeouts, the Phillies offense finally provided the other end of that equation and came away with an 8-2 win over the New York Mets in front of another sellout crowd at Citizen’s Bank Park.

After scoring just one in the first two games of this series, the Phillies (4-5) scored seven of their eight runs in the final two innings of the game to put the Mets away. With a huge 10-game West coast road trip on the horizon, the Phillies are hoping to have more than a few games where they can score runs in bunches to go along with their great pitching.

“I think all of our starting pitchers know that they’re very capable of holding the opposition if they’re throwing their type of game,” said Phils manager Charlies Manuel. “On some nights, they will give up some runs. Just like today we gave up two early, they got the lead, we hung in there and we came back, we finally had a couple of innings there where we scored runs.”

Sunday’s game against the Mets was a good example of what could happen if the scoring and pitching come together for the Phillies. Hamels started the game by giving up a two-run homer to Ike Davis. The Mets would not score again.

“Cole’s the whole reason we won today,” said Ty Wigginton, who drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh. “They jumped off a 2-0 lead and he didn’t let them get anymore, he shut the door on them. Anytime, you get a pitcher out there battling like that, you want to help him out.”

After the second inning, Hamels settled down and shut down the Mets for the remainder of his time on the mound. In seven innings, the Phillies lefty allowed no runs on five hits along with the 10 strikeouts.

Hamels said he got through that first inning by not panicking and just focusing on the next batter rather than allowing things snowball out of control.

“You put it behind you,” Hamels said. “I think I’ve become pretty good at getting over it and starting back over. No matter what occurred I need to get the next guy out and I think that’s something I’ve had to learn the hard way. You just keep plugging away and if you’re able to do that and keep the intensity and the focus, you’re going to be able to pull away and have games like that.”

In recent years, Hamels has always pitched well enough to win games, but more often than naught, he hasn’t had the kind of run support to help him win games.

Up until the Phillies half of the seventh inning, it looked Hamels was going to be that hard luck loser as the Phils trailed 2-1. Singles by Jimmy Rollins and Hunter Pence put both them at first and second. A wild pitch by Mets reliever Ramon Ramirez put Rollins at third and Pence at second.

Wigginton’s sac-fly tied the game and Lanyce Nix’s double put the Phillies ahead for good. In the eighth inning, the Phillies exploded with a five-run to put the Mets away. Wigginton capped off his day with a three-run double.

“Anytime you take the field, you want to go out and contribute and help your team win a ball game,” Wigginton said. “Definitely the sac-fly even more so than the double. It’s just a matter of getting out there and getting some results.”

Notes–The Phillies activated veteran reliever Jose Contreras today and optioned pitcher Joe Savery to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

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Phillies Still Searching for Answers on Offense in Loss to Miami

9 Apr

By Chris Murray

For the CM Report and the Sunday Sun

Cole Hamels struggled in the Phillies opener giving up four runs on eight hits while getting no run support.

With Ryan Howard and Chase Utley on the shelf with injuries, the Phillies (1-3) are still in search of offense and can’t seem to find it anywhere four games into the season.

The Phillies 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Miami Marlins in front of a sell-out crowd at Citizen’s Bank Park in the home opener is yet another example of what happens when one of their best starting pitchers has a bad day and the offense is not clicking.

“We’re four games in and the bottomline is we haven’t been hitting the ball hard enough to score runs,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said in his postgame press conference. “In the last four days, we’ve been putting the ball in play, but not too hard. We definitely have to move the ball a little better than that.”

The Marlins roughed up Phils starting pitcher Cole Hamels for four runs (three earned) on eight hits in during his five and two-thirds of inning of work. Oddly enough, he struck out nine with no walks, but Miami got just enough runs off Hamels to put the Phillies in a deep hole early.

“I thought I made some really great pitches at times,” Hamels said. “I felt like all four pitches were working. I had two or three that I didn’t really throw effectively and gave up a homer.”

Marlins second baseman Omar Infante led the charge with a pair of home runs and two runs batted in by first baseman Gaby Sanchez. Miami also got run-scoring single from Hanley Ramirez and a solo homerun from Austin Kearns off closer Jonathan Papelbon.

As good as Hamels and the rest of the pitching staff are, Manuel said if the Phillies don’t start hitting on a consistent basis, it’s going to eventually take its toll on the team.

“If we don’t score runs, it’s definitely going to add pressure to our pitching,” Manuel said. “But we have a lot of good veteran pitchers, but at the same time, it could take its wear and tear on them if we don’t score runs. We gotta find away to better and we’re going to work at it.”

Meanwhile, the Phillies offense was shut down by the pitching of  Miami’s Anibal Sanchez, who allowed just two runs on six hits in six and one-third of an inning—three of those hits came when the Phillies scored two runs off him in the seventh. Up until that point, he had allowed just three hits and did not allow a lead-off batter to reach base until that inning.

The Phils got their only runs of the game  on  a two-run double by rookie second baseman Freddy Galvis that scored Shane Victorino, who led off the seventh  inning with a single and Carlos Ruiz, who reached on a fielder’s choice. It was Galvis’s first major-league hit after going hitless in his first 12 at bats.

But despite of the slow start offensively, the Phillies aren’t stressing  about their offensive struggles just first four games of the season.  Even without, Howard and Utley in their lineup, Victorino said the offense is capable producing enough runs to win games even in come-from-behind situations like they have in previous years.

“Just because we haven’t done it in four games, don’t worry about it,” Victorino said. “Absolutely, we’re a good enough team that we can come back. I don’t see why we can’t.  It’s just that we haven’t done it  and so of course that question is going to be asked. Yes, we’re a good enough team that we can come back.”

For all the talk about the Phillies offense without Howard and Utley, the team has always found a way to win games when they’ve had players on the disabled list. Manuel said his team will figure it out at some point during the season.

“We’ve got guys that’s supposed to be able to hit,” Manuel said. “When you take those guys (Howard and Utley) out of the lineup it has an effect on you, but at the same time, we’ve always been able to work through that and that’s what we’ve gotta do.”