Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hamels wins 8th with help from Wiggy, Doc, Vanimal Updates

What a difference a year makes!

Cole Hamels was great last year. He was great in 2010. But he was a victim of a lack of run support. He was 14-9 in 2011, with a tremendous 2.79 ERA and 194 strikeouts. In 2010, he was just 12-11 with a 3.06 ERA and 211 strikeouts. Those numbers should certainly produce a better win-loss record.

This year, Hamels is already 8-1 with a 2.43 ERA and 72 K's.

Last night's 8-4 victory over the Mets is a prime example of the difference. Hamels was very good, but he made a few mistakes. He was dominant early, running on cruise control. But in the fith and sixth innings, he allowed a two-run home run, blowing a 2-0 lead and a 4-2 lead.

Last year, that would have been a 4-1 loss despite allowing just four hits and striking out six over eight strong. Or this year, that may have been a 4-1 loss for another pitcher, say the win-less Cliff Lee. But Hamels, while pitching dominantly all season, has been the benefactor of some run support his fellow starters haven't been.

Ty Wigginton had a big game against one of his former teams to back Hamels batting in the five-hole. He was 3-for-3 with a home run, six RBI, two runs scored and two walks.

The great day, his best with the Phils, earned him a promotion to the clean-up spot tonight. Carlos Ruiz remains out of the lineup with a sore hamstring. He's supposedly available off the bench.

Roy Halladay was placed on the DL and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a strained lat. Vance Worley threw a pain free bullpen session today. He'll throw at least another, but with the loss of Doc his return is becoming crucial.

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