Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rusty But Good Enough

Cole Hamels returned from the DL/roster maneuver list last night and at least for the moment calmed frayed nerves about his left shoulder. Hamels was masterful.

Pitching in the place where his major league career began, Hamels stifled the Reds on two hits, allowing a single run over six innings. Hamels showed none of the rust and all of the command of his peak form.

A trio of relievers, beginning earlier than usual -- the seventh inning -- with Antonio Bastardo and following with Michael Stutes and Ryan Madson, held off the powerful Reds' lineup for a 3-2 win. Shane Victorino provided the margin of victory with a two-run shot, his fifteenth homer of the season.

Hamels was nearly perfect. Bastardo was, too. Stutes, who has scuffled badly lately surrendered three hits and a run in his inning to allow the Reds to creep to within one run. Madson allowed the tying run to reach second before shutting the door.

Each team managed six hits but Reds' starter Homer Bailey allowed the biggest one of all, to Victorino.

The Phils could be excused for being a bit rusty overall, having only played one game in the last four days due to hurricane Irene. They shook off some of that rust last night and need to shake off the rest in the days ahead.

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