One series can make a big difference. It was just a few days ago when the lowly Houston Astros swept the Phillies in four games. Three games later, the Phillies completed a sweep of their own against the first-place San Diego Padres. This series came down to the pitching, but the Phillies managed to score five runs for Cole Hamels in today’s 5-0 victory.
The Padres entered today’s game as one of the best fielding teams in baseball. After today’s game, that is hard to believe. The Friars committed four fielding errors. The Phillies took advantage of the mistakes, and tacked on five runs.
The first run came on an RBI single from Jimmy Rollins, but the big blow came off the bat of Mike Sweeney. Sweeney played in replace of Ryan Howard, who had a scheduled off day. In the seventh inning, Sweeney ripped a liner over the right field wall for a two-run shot. It was Sweeney’s first home run as a Phillie, and his first in three months. Later on, Jayson Werth added an insurance run, smashing a home run of his own.
One run was all Cole Hamels needed. Receiving run support was a new thing for him, as he picked up the victory. Hamels shut down the Padres over eight innings, surrendering only four hits. It was surprising that Hamels finished the day without walking a batter, because he had a high pitch count and often fell deep into counts. Hamels struck out six.
If the Phillies ever needed a sweep, it was this one. With the Braves rallying for a win, this game became more and more important. This sweep could add new life to the Phillies, especially after that horrific series with Houston.