Ryan Howard clouted 2 homers and Cole Hamels pitched 7 strong innings as the Phillies beat the Red Sox last night going away by a score of 8 - 2.
Howard's home runs, both off of Red Sox starter Bartolo Colon, were hit to the opposite field and mark a return of Howard's classic opposite field MVP stroke. Howard also later added an incredibly entertaining triple on what was probably his hardest hit ball of the night to right-center field. RyHo knocked in 4 runs on the night. Jimmy Rollins also enjoyed a big night, with his second lead-off homer of the year, and a big base hit in the 6th inning that drove in two and broke the game open.
As for Cole Hamels, he only had the one bad inning where he gave up back-to-back homers to Dustin Pedroia and JD Drew. Otherwise, he pitched a very good, but not overpowering game, in striking out 5 and walking 2. He even contributed offensively, with an important sacrifice in the 6th inning that led to JRoll's 2-run single and a fluky base hit in the 7th inning.
Chad Durbin held down the fort in the final two innings to preserve the win. Can't help but wonder where Clay Condrey was here, but I guess Charlie Manual didn't consider this a true mop up situation. I would possibly have wanted Durbin for tonite's game in case Moyer gets knocked about, but it's hard to complain when they beat one of the best teams in baseball.
The series continues tonite with Old Man Moyer going up against Jon Lester. The game starts at 7:05pm and will be on CSN-TV.
Did You Notice?
- Terry Francona leave Mike Timlin in FAR too long in the 6th inning? Nice going, Tito. It brought back a lot of memories of how incompetent Francona was when he was the Phillie manager. Still can't believe he owns World Series rings. No, I can't let it go, either.
- The sweet defensive play in the 2nd inning by Hamel off of Jason Varitek? Looked like a Martin Biron glove save.....
- The Pat Burrell triple? What made your heart stop more? Watching Ryan Howard chug into 3rd or watching Burrell lumber the bases? Both of these forays could have led to DL trips as unathletic as those two players looked on those plays.
- Weird stat I heard on a Podcast: According Eric Karabell and Peter Pascarelli on yesterday's ESPN Baseball today podcast, Adam Eaton had more quality starts this year (this was before last night's game) than Cole Hamels. I've tried to find a website that actually keeps the quality start as part of their statistical package, but I can't find one. That Eaton has more "quality starts" than Cole Hamels should tell you all you need to know about that particular statistic.
Photo: (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)