Game 26 - Sunday Afternoon, April 28th in New York
Record - 12-14, 3rd Place, 4 games behind the Braves
One Sentence Summary: Ryan Howard's two-run, pinch-hit double in the seventh broke a one-all tie and helped secure Cole Hamels' first win of the season as the Phillies completed the sweep of the Mets.
What It Means: For the first time this season, I feel good about the Phillies. The win also jumped the Phils over the Mets into third place in the N.L. East. They're now a game and a half behind the second place Nationals.
This game was the first of the season for catcher Carlos Ruiz, who served out his 25-game suspension for the use of a banned substance. Back-up catcher Humberto Quintero was designated for assignment to make room for Ruiz on the roster.
What Went Right: Hamels allowed just two hits and a run in his six innings of work while striking out eight and uncharacteristically walking six. The bullpen trio of Antonio Bastardo, Mike Adams and Jonathan Papelbon did their jobs and pitched three shutout innings.
Freddy Galvis, playing left field again, started the scoring with a home run to left to begin the fifth. After Howard's clutch double in the seventh, Chase Utley singled him home. John Mayberry, Jr. doubled home Domonic Brown in the eighth for a nice (but thankfully unneeded) insurance run.
Featured Card: This is the newest Howard card to my collection - a cool, framed mini card featuring a swatch of a game-used Howard jersey. These cards always remind me of my son Ben's "touch and feel" board books because there's a small opening surrounding the jersey swatch, allowing the owner to touch and feel a genuine big leaguer's uniform. And yes, I took advantage of the opening and I can report back that the jersey is indeed soft and it is pleasant to the touch.