Sunday, October 10, 2010

2010 Chachi #63 NLDS Game 3/Cole Hamels

Phillies 2, Reds 0
NLDS Game 3 - Sunday Night, October 10th in Cincinnati

It took the Phillies 34 years, but they finally avenged the Reds' sweep in the 1976 NLCS.  Cole Hamels' brilliant pitching performance led the Phils over the Reds, 2-0, and punched the team's ticket for their third straight NLCS.  Hamels limited the Reds to just five hits while striking out nine and walking none on the way to his first career Postseason shutout.  At one point, Hamels set down ten in a row until Ramon Hernandez' 2-out double in the seventh. 

How brilliant was Hamels?  I was nervous only twice this game, which may be my personal all-time low for a Phillies' Postseason game. 

I was a little nervous in the first when Hamels allowed a lead-off single to Drew Stubbs.  Brandon Phillips then launched a deep fly ball to center that seemed destined for at least a triple and it appeared as if the game would be tied.  However, Shane Victorino tracked the ball down for the out and the nerves subsided.  And I was nervous again the ninth when Phillips led off with a single and probable NL MVP Joey Votto stepped up to the plate.  Hamels, whose pitch count had already passed the century mark, induced a double play ball to second and the threat was over.  I found it somewhat fitting that former Phillie Scott Rolen struck out for the final out of the game.

2010 Topps Heritage #480
Going into this game, I thought it would be key for the Phillies to score first in order to apply even more pressure to the Reds.  They delivered.  Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard each singled in the first.  With two outs, Jayson Werth grounded to shortstop Orlando Cabrera, but Cabrera's wild throw to first allowed Polanco to score an unearned run.  Turns out, that's all Hamels would need, but Chase Utley added a solo home run in the fifth for a little extra insurance.  (Greg Luzinski gets a little bit of company.)

So now what?  The Phils wait.  The Giants and Braves will continue to battle it out to determine which team will face the Phils in the 2010 NLCS beginning Saturday in Philadelphia.  Three wins down, eight to go.

Go Phils!

1 comment:

Section 36 said...

Go Phils!

Glad I got at least one prediction right.