Friday, May 25, 2012

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Mini #30 Cole Hamels

Regular and Retro Uni variation
Phillies 4, Nationals 1
Game 45 - Wednesday Night, May 23rd in Philadelphia
Record - 22-23, 5th Place, 4 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Cole Hamels no-hit the Nationals through five innings, helping to salvage the final game of the series, 4-1.

What It Means:  It means the losing streak is over and the Phillies avoided the sweep from the Nationals.  It also means that Hamels has cemented himself as the most reliable starting pitcher (by far) at this point in the season.  Hamels, in his contract year, is positioning himself for a crazy payday following the season.

What Went Right:  Hamels pitched eight shutout innings, striking out eight, on the way to his seventh win of the season.

Mike Fontenot, filling in at second due to Freddy Galvis' shift to short as a result of Jimmy Rollins' paternity leave (got that?), drove in the team's first run in the second with an RBI-single.  He'd later score in the seventh on a perfectly executed suicide squeeze on a bunt laid down by Juan Pierre.  Shane Victorino added an RBI-double and a solo home run in the eighth.  Carlos Ruiz, batting clean-up for the first time, had another 3-hit night, raising his average to .357.

Featured Cards:  Slow down Topps!  I've barely digested the Gypsy Queen release and I'm trying to play catch up with the recently released Bowman and Topps Archives sets.  The Topps Archives set particularly intrigues me as its pays tribute to various Topps baseball card designs from yesteryear.

So while most of the blogosphere is showing off their new Archives cards, featured here are two Hamels mini cards from the Gypsy Queen release.  Thanks to this handy checklist over at 14,000 Phillies, I was able to successfully piece together all the mini card variations I'd need to obtain a complete Phillies team set.

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