Victorino’s Homer Backs Hamels Solid Outing

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, August 29, 2011 10:28 PM | Comments: 20
2011 Game Recaps, Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts


Man, does he own the Cincinnati Reds. Cole Hamels did not get the win in Monday’s 3-2 Phillies victory, but he certainly deserved it as he came back from a DL stint with a vengeance.

After Hamels left, Shane Victorino smashed a two-run home run to right field to give the Phillies a two run lead, which ended up being just enough. Hamels’ counterpart, Homer Bailey, was nearly as exceptional on the mound, but he made one mistake that cost his team the game.

Hamels went six innings, giving up just two hits – one of which was a triple by Brandon Phillips that could should have been caught on the warning track in right field – and struck out seven Reds hitters, lowering his ERA to 2.58 in the process. Rust can sometimes play a factor when a pitcher hasn’t been in a game situation in 17 days, but for Hamels, that wasn’t an issue. His fastball had great life and his breaking pitches were crisp. Hamels tossed 76 pitches, 50 of them for strikes, including 10 in a row to start the game. The first nine batters of the game (on both sides) went down in order. Ryan Hanigan was responsible for the other base hit, a single to right field in the sixth.

Bailey held the Phillies down until the eighth inning, but Victorino changed that with one swing. After a Wilson Valdez single to lead off the inning, Michael Martinez was unable to move him up a base as a bunt attempt turned into a pop out to first baseman Joey Votto. The next hitter was Victorino, who launched a ball a few rows up into the right field seats. Victorino knew it right away; his home run trot gave it away.

The Reds starter was a hard luck loser on the night. Bailey fanned nine and did not walk a batter over eight innings.

Offensively, there was not much to talk about on either side. The two starters made the opposite lineup look foolish for the better part of the night, until Victorino broke it open.

The Phillies bullpen did its job for three innings, just as Hamels had done the previous six. Antonio Bastardo came in to pitch to Votto, Jay Bruce, and Yonder Alonso in the seventh – all lefties – and made Bruce and Alonso look like goofballs with back-to-back strikeouts after a Votto walk. Drew Stubbs then struck out on a bevy of wicked sliders to end the inning. Love that Manuel and Dubee went with Bastardo when it counted the most – it was the right move, kudos to them for not going in order of set up men.

Mike Stutes scuffled a bit, giving up a run in the eighth, but got out of it with the Phillies clinging to that one run lead. He was the recipient of some tough luck, as well, as Placido Polanco had a tough time with a couple of ground balls.

Ryan Madson put the lead runner on base in the ninth, but would get three straight outs for save No. 24.

Polanco had an all-around terrible evening, striking out three times and committing an error. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard each struck out twice.

But the biggest positive was a healthy Cole Hamels firing bullets after a long layoff.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 1110 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    CY! CY! CY!

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    The missed time is preventing a very serious MVP push for Shane.

    Really like backing off the work load on all the starters now.

  • Posts: 5416 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    97,93,92,89- That’s the number of wins we won the division with the last 4 years.

    This year with 32 freakin games left to play we’ve won 84.

    Also, Stolen from Jonathan on Twitter- but I like it. – “MVictorinoP”

  • Posts: 0 Needa Wynn

    Yes !!!! Shane is in sane. Howard not so much so.

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    He’s having a very very good year, but I still dont know about all the MVP talk. Voters still look at the power numbers, which aren’t there. Id still put Fielder, Braun, Kemp, Votto and probably Reyes ahead of him.

    • Posts: 5416 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      Bobby Valentine made mention of it tonight on ESPN baseball tonight. The groundswell is growing, we have to get on the bus Pat!

  • Posts: 5416 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Also – Wilson Valdez, you know that guy that isn’t even good enough to be a replacement player according to the WAR sabermetricians.

    He now leads the Phillies in BA w/ RISP at .390 with a .975 OPS in those situations. One word-Clutch.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Reyes and Kemp ?
    booooo hoooo

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Important win in my book. Stutes needs a clean inning his last few outings have been rough. He has been unlucky as of late. I say if their healthy gotta ride the horses until we clinch or the Braves cool off.

  • Posts: 206 The Dipsy

    Avatar of The Dipsy

    The world is getting hip to the fact that Stutes does not have an off speed pitch. Fastball and hard slider. I think the hitter can adjust to basically one speed – fast. Need another pitch. Bastardo – on the other hand – is nasty. And with the same two pitches as Stutes.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 2897 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    @Lefty… My man, Wilson. Dude gets no respect!

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    Does it bother anybody else when writers or commentators use the phrase “made one mistake” or “just made a few mistakes” when referring to pitchers giving up hits? There were plenty of pitches that could have been hit hard that turned into outs or strikes.

    I understand the concept that a fastball middle in could be a mistake to one batter but a strikeout to another, but to claim that a pitcher made one mistake just because he gave up one homerun or big hit doesn’t’ make sense to me. When a pitcher misses his spot, that’s a mistake right?

    I understand what they are trying to say when this expression is used, but I believe the statement needlessly over simplifies pitching. I remember when pitchers started using the phrase more often in interviews and they were primarily talking about hitting their spots. The media has evolved it into every hit is a “mistake.” Sorry I can rant about this kind of stuff all day.

    Kemp would be mvp if he was on a contender (not sure how I feel about that bias). I’d give it to braun right now over fielder because he plays the outfield. Victorino’s best month will need to be September for him to win. It would be great to see though!

  • Posts: 1376 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Phil, if you go back and see what Bailey did, he gave up some hits and a few base runners, but he the home run was the mistake here. He left the ball in for Victorino to crush it and he did. I dont see anything wrong with the term, because other than that at-bat, he had pretty much been mistake free. I guess you could also say Valdez’s double was a mistake, but that was done by the fielder. If the LF plays it on one hop, the Phillies may not get a run there.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Stutes . . . . I said in a game recap against the Braves before.. I think in which he walked his 16th guy in 30 innings … That his walks are a concern

    He’s been getting away with this because his doesn’t give up many HITS ..

    But our K_BB ratio goes:
    Stutes ranking him 11th of our pitchers this year -of 20 (not counting Valdez)

    BB per 9:
    Stutes ranks 14th of our pitchers this year

    ….just juding by the numbers, if we’re still figuring out who pitchers 7th, who pitches 8th… I think Bastardo needs to be the 8th inning guy, unless we plan to go just based on matchups all postseason …

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    for the MVP talk … a lot of the voters look at “Where would the team be if that player wasn’t there” …. which is why Granderson should win, but might not – because he’s surrounded by great talent

    The Tigers …without Justin Verlander wouldn’t be where they are

    Ellsbury and Pedroia will probably steal votes from one another – and from Adrian Gonzalez, with Boston

    In the NL MVP race … I think Justin Upton, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder

    but Braun is hitting .334 … 25 HR… 92 Runs.. 88 RBI… 30 steals …. for a team that’s running away with the NL Central … I think Braun’s your MVP this year with Upton 2nd, Kemp 3rd …. Fielder 4th, Victorino somewhere between 5-10

  • Posts: 1138 betasigmadeltashag

    Avatar of betasigmadeltashag

    I really think Stutes look better last night, the pitch that got the run in was almost on the ground when the guy swung at it and bounced it off the plate, another inch either way and that ball may have been a DP. I also think it was a good move to use Bastardo in the seventh against the middle of the reds order especailly being all left handed, but how about letting Bastardo go more then an inning. with the up and down outings all year by herndon and Stutes would it not be wise before the playoffs to see how Bastardo can do going 1 plus to 2 innings? Just a thought.

    • Posts: 1110 Manny

      Avatar of Manny

      Agreed. Bastardo against the better hitters, who also happen to be lefties, was the right call. I was really happy to see Cholly using him there instead of sticking to “roles” (setup man, closer, etc).

  • Posts: 2005 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Really looking forward to meeting the Braves in the first week of September. This should be a fun time.

  • Posts: 0 bostonkate

    God, I love this man. And am pissed PECO didn’t allow me to see his return.


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