Game 9 - Sunday Afternoon, April 10th in Atlanta
One Sentence Summary: Cole Hamels got his groove back in Atlanta, pitching seven shutout innings, and Shane Victorino's bat keyed the 3-0 Phillies victory.
What It Means: The Phillies have played three series so far this season, and they have won all three. With a 7-2 record, the Phillies have a two game lead against the Florida Marlins in the National League East. They have a day off tomorrow before opening a three-game series in Washington on Tuesday night.
What Went Right: His first game of 2011 (against the Mets) seemingly a distant memory, Hamels dazzled against the Braves, striking out eight and allowing just four hits. He shut down the first ten batters he faced until Nate McLouth doubled in the fourth.
Victorino was involved with all three runs scored by the Phillies. He singled in the first and came home to score on a double play ball. He singled and scored in the fourth and he finished the afternoon with a solo home run in the sixth. In the three games against the Braves, Victorino went 9 for 13 with three RBIs and two stolen bases.
Carlos Ruiz added two more hits, upping his average to .346. Jose Contreras recorded his second save of the season.
Featured Card: I almost went with a Victorino card, but Hamels gets the nod for his pitching performance this afternoon. As of right now, Hamels' 11 strikeouts this season are third on the team behind Cliff Lee (14) and Roy Halladay (13).
Last year, Halladay and Hamels finished one-two in team strikeouts, with Joe Blanton (134), Kyle Kendrick (84) and Roy Oswalt (73) in the distance rounding out the top five.