I figured out that I have spent 62 of the past 73 nights on the road, including my redeye tonight to Philly. I’m not complaining. Not at all. I just thought that was a crazy number. I kind of feel like George Clooney in Up in the Air, but instead of getting rock star treatment from my airline I’m sitting in a middle seat in the 22nd row. Thankfully, I’ve got an airport approved sleeping aid to get me through the night.
But you’re here for the Phillies, so let’s talk Phillies. The Phillies arguably salvaged their nine-game road trip through Atlanta, Arizona and San Francisco with a crazy 7-6 victory in 11 innings today over the Giants at AT&T Park. (AT&T Park is one of my five favorite ballparks, by the way. I highly recommend a trip for every Phillies fan.) The Phillies went 4-5 on the trip, which certainly is not good, but considering the Phillies’ offense has been ridiculously frigid and they’re missing two starting pitchers, their closer and their shortstop, maybe it could have been worse.
Cole Hamels continues to puzzle. He allowed one run through five innings as he battled Tim Lincecum, but after he loaded the bases with one out in the sixth and struck out Lincecum for the second out, he walked Andres Torres to score the first run in a three-run rally to give the Giants a 4-1 lead.
Charlie Manuel and Brian Schneider both offered unsolicited opinions that they thought Hamels threw well, despite the fact that Hamels’ line showed he allowed nine hits and four runs in six innings to give him a 5.28 ERA after five starts. But you know what? I thought he threw well at times, too. His stuff is there. He struck out 10 batters. His 3.6 strikeout/walk ratio ranks 22nd out of 125 pitchers in baseball with 20 or more innings. He just hasn’t been able to finish. I think it will come. I really do. And if I’m wrong, I’m wrong. But I think Hamels will get on a run at some point.
“It’s pitching deeper,” Hamels said. “I’m not going to take anything negative from the way I attacked the strike zone because I felt like I did that really well. I was able to really go after them. I felt like I was able to do what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, the line doesn’t look good, but after this game I feel really pleased with what I was able to accomplish, and I look forward to my next start.”
I’ll be signing copies of my Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Barnes & Noble in Rittenhouse Square. Stop by if you can!