Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pitch Hitch

Tommy Hanson's delivery looks like that of a man who is changing his mind in mid windup. He draws back, hesitates at the apex, then flings the ball homeward. The hitch is deceptive to batters, according to all reports, and the results confirm it. Hanson, a highly touted rookie a few seasons ago, has become a premier pitcher. He certainly was one yesterday as he stymied the entire makeshift batting order of the Phils with the lone exception of his opposite number, Cliff Lee. Lee belted the first home run of his career to give the Phils a brief lead.

Dan Uggla tied the score with a four-bagger of his own and that's the way things stood until the eleventh inning when the Braves scored a run on an rbi single by Alex Gonzalez, who is fast becoming a member of the Phillies-killer club and baseball's number one member of that exclusive organization, Brian McCann, launched a two run home run.

The Lee-Hanson matchup certainly lived up to its advance billing. Michael Stutes, who has pitched brilliantly all season, surrendered the Braves winning runs to take the loss.

Cole Hamels faces Derek Lowe in the series finale this afternoon. The Phils look to increase their lead to 3.5 games over the Braves at the break and even the season series at six apiece.

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