Last night’s game was a pitcher’s duel that ended with some pretty big heroics. Both Adam Wainwright and Cole Hamels tossed eight innings and only gave up one run. There was very little run support for either pitcher. Carlos Ruiz hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning that gave the Phillies the lead. The Phillies took a 1-0 lead into the 9th inning and Charlie Manuel let Hamels start the ninth inning. Hamels gave up an RBI double to Yadier Molina that tied the game at 1-1. With the Cardinals threatening to take the lead, Brad Lidge came in and shut the door. Lidge didn’t allow any hits got the job done.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, an unlikely hero emerged. Carlos Ruiz stepped in and launched a ball down the left field line that curved foul. Everyone thought that Ruiz had won the game, but unfortunately it was a foul ball. Fortunately for Ruiz, he had a little heroics left in him. He launched a walk-off home run to left field off Cardinals reliever Blake Hawksworth. This sent the Philadelphia fans home happy and gave them something to cheer about.
Ruiz seems to have the magic in the postseason, but not so much in the regular season. He was the Phillies only source of runs last night. He tied the game and won it as well. It’s truly scary that this lineup from one to eight, can hurt teams like the Phillies can. This came from an unlikely hero, but once the postseason begins, Carlos Ruiz will show up like he always does.
It also very encouraging to see Cole Hamels pitch so brilliantly last night. It was one of his strongest outings in quite some time. Hamels’ fastball seemed to look just as it did in 2008. In his last two starts, Hamels has a combined 18 strikeouts. He struck out 10 against the Giants last week and struck out eight against the Cardinals last night. He seems to be cutting down on his walks and also didn’t allow a home run last night. Hamels showed that his stuff is there and that he is capable of being a top of the rotation starter. Is the 2008 Cole Hamels making his way back? Only time will tell but it’s great to see the left-hander pitching well again.