Hamels brilliant comeback, Phillies beat Reds, 3-2
Cincinnati Reds - The bigger picture, Charlie Manuel always says, is something he'd rather not affirm about. He'll accuse those around baseball of over thinking those simple principles the Phillies manager holds true to his heart. a chat with Manuel leads to another repetition of his doctrine: The top priority, always, is to win that day.
Manuel said. "There's kinds of teams looking down the road,There's a lot of people in a lot of organizations saying, 'We've got it made, we're in.' And they're backing off. You didn't get there by backing off."
Philadelphia Phillies did just that and still won Monday. It was a 3-2 victory over the[Only registered and activated users can see links. ], a game in which Manuel removed a dominant Cole Hamels after merely six innings and 76
They had exercised patience five days without a victory, mostly because the effect of Hurricane Irene's wrath, and that made Monday sweeter. Shane Victorino's timely two-run blast provided the 84th win of a season still on pace to smash franchise records. But the most important victory was not got in the standings.
Cincinnati Reds were fortunate to even score one against Hamels. Only when Hunter Pence overran a fly ball to deep right and slipped on the warning track did Brandon [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] reach on a fourth-inning triple. It was Cincinnati's first hit of the game, and a hit only by definition of the word.
Not another ball left the infield that inning, but Phillips scored on a groundout to second. That was all Cincinnati mustered. Hamels required just 34 pitches to record the first nine outs.
The lead - created by Victorino's 15th home run - was preserved by the familiar faces of the bullpen, but it was hardly easy. Ryan Madson put the tying run on base to begin the ninth, but earned his 24th save of the season. Antonio Bastardo walked the first batter he faced in the seventh only to strike out the next three.
In the sixth inning of a tie game, Hamels surrendered a leadoff single to Ryan Hanigan. He advanced to third on a bunt and fly out, but no further. Hamels, taking advantage of a rookie hitter, dangled a 2-2 change-up that Dave Sappelt flailed at.
In the eighth, it was hairier. Mike Stutes out of work two of the first three batters he faced before the inning Finished. Phillips smoked a ball to third that ricocheted off Placido Polanco. Sappelt bounced another to third but Polanco short-hopped Ryan Howard on the throw, allowing one run to score. Two plays were ruled singles, but both could have been outs - especially the second.
Nonetheless, with the tying run 90 feet away, Stutes threw a 2-0 slider that ([Only registered and activated users can see links. ]) Joey Votto, the MLB reigning MVP, harmlessly hit to second for the third out. A crisis was averted by the 24-year-old rookie righthander.
Monday night will be recorded as just another win in a season full of them, but those in the visitors clubhouse who watched Hamels viewed it as much, much more. Sometimes, it doesn't hurt to look at the bigger picture.