The Phillies managed to deny fate for another day and notch a marvelous win over the Marlins tonight, shutting them down by a score of 4-0. The story of tonight’s game, as it was the last time he started, was the utter domination over a hapless Marlins lineup by Cole Hamels, who defied both his record against them (6-10 before tonight) and the Phillies’ record overall (five straight losses to Miami) to win the game and get his second straight complete game shutout. His record improved to 13-6, while Eovaldi’s dropped to 3-8. And sure, the hits were nice, like Pierre’s meteor strike of a standup triple in the fourth inning. The plays were stellar, with the four-man rundown on Jose Reyes in the first and Kevin Frandsen’s (sadly botched) bare-handed grab in the third being absolute gems among them. But in the end, none of it mattered really. The true star of the game was always Hamels.
Consider this. In his past three starts, Cole Hamels has amassed a scoreless streak of 22 innings. Over the course of that streak, he has given up 14 hits, just two of them for extra bases, and walked NONE, while racking up 16 strikeouts. His fastball and changeup, the bread and butter of his gameplan, are as effective as they’ve ever been, with (surprise!) a potent curveball and cutter thrown into the mix to make him a stone-cold killer on the mound. He was in complete control of every pitch the entire game, and at no point was the outcome ever in doubt. His pitches just dove every which way, turning a lineup that statistically was decent against him into absolute fools. And it was glorious to watch.
As much as I malign this organization’s reliance on massive contracts and my aversion to long-term deals in general…I can’t think of a better pitcher I’d want to spend the next six years with. He’s the ace that Philly needs, and the one that it sorely deserves.