Last night Cole Hamels continued his dominance over the Los Angeles Dodgers throwing 8 shutout innings while striking out 9. One of the most impressive moments of Cole's performence was the 7th inning when he worked out of a huge jam in the 7th inning after Andre Either got a leadoff double and then Matt Kemp singled, the Dodgers had runners at the corners with nobody out and the Phillies just holding on to a 1-0 lead that came from Ryan Howard's 13th homerun of the season. Hamels got Juan Uribe to pop out for out number one and then struck out Marcus Thames for out number two. He finished off the masterful job by getting former Phil Rod Barajas to pop out to Valdez. The Phils added another run in the bottom of the inning on a fielders choice RBI by Domonic Brown and a great slide by Victorino to score the second run. Madson finished off the Dodgers in the 9th and recorded his 14th save of 2011.
Hamels' great outing is fueling the talk of a possible Cy Young Award for Cole this season. He now has tied Roy Halladay for the team lead in wins and is slowly being recognized as one of the best pitchers in baseball. After Hamels struggled in 09 he's been great ever since and has proved he's matured and has all of his pitches working better than ever before.
Ryan Howard ended his homerless streak last night that had been going on since May 30th. The homer was also the Phillies first homerun of June ending the team's homerless drought dating back to the 31st. While the Phillies offense still isn't obviously clicking on all cylinders, but as long as the team wins, I'll deal with it for now.
The bullpen for the Phightin Phils have been great, Antonio Bastardo, Michael Stutes, Jose Contreras, and Ryan Madson have done a stellar job. Bastardo has been that stabalizing lefty out of the bullpen that J.C Romero has failed to be this year and even last year. Stutes has been one of the most surprising guys that have stepped up, Stutes has great stuff and has shown it this year and is proving to be a great middle reliever or set up man. Contreras has pratically lights out this season no matter what role it is. As for Madson, well what can you say about him besides he's been perfect. Madson has taken over the closer job no matter what, even when Lidge comes back, Mad Dog is the closer.
Tonight the Phils face the Chicago Cubs at CBP, Kyle Kendrick will make the start....for some reason. I'm still lost on why the Phils keep this guy up here, he's one of the biggest hit or miss pitchers I've ever seen. If his sinker is good he's usually ok, but if it isn't, the Phils are in for a long night. It's gonna be another warm day in Philly so hopefully it'll stay that way and hopefully Kendrick's sinker will be working. Randy Wells will be on the mound for the Cubs, Wells has only one start against the Phils and he did a good job going 7 shutout innings striking out 5. Not really the best stats when you want a lot of runs tonight, but we'll see how things go tonight. LET'S GO PHILS!