Phils Win! Phils Win!
What a game indeed. Chase Utleys bomb in the first inning proved to be the mighty blow that Tampa Bay just could not overcome and seemed to shut up those annoying ass cowbells for a minute. Cole Hamels once again pitched a gem of a game and moves closer to making his mark on baseball postseason history. Oh, he’s just now 4-0, with a 1.55 ERA, with 27 strikeouts in 29 innings. That makes him only the 10th starting pitcher in history to win four games in one postseason, joining: Josh Beckett, Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Jack Morris, John Smoltz, Orel Hershiser, Dave Stewart, David Wells and Burt Hooton.
Also, if Hamels gets another start in Game 5, he will have a chance to tie the all-time record for most wins in a single postseason, held by Randy Johnson (2001) and Francisco Rodriguez (2002). NOTE: all of K-Rod’s wins, and one of Johnson’s, came in relief. So Hamels is now in position to become the first starting pitcher ever to win five times in one postseason.
Carl Crawford and Akinori Iwamura were the only Rays that seemed to shake Cole as Crawford went deep on a breaking ball that hung out over the plate a little too long and Aki went 3 for 4 as well as driving in the Rays second run. The Phils had multiple opportunities to pad their lead but failed to do so, going 0-11 with runners on base and leaving nine men stranded.
Cole gave way to the best bullpen in the 8th. Ryan Madson came in throwing straight HEAT for a perfect 8th leading the way for Mr. Perfect himself, Brad Lidge. Lidge once again did his thang, throwing another perfect 9th while striking out two.
The Phils will try to make it two in a row at Trop tonight as Brett Myers pitches against James Shields in Game 2.