… Two Aces to Go
Have to wonder what the Braves are thinking after losing tonight to the Phillies, 3-1.
In the past, they might have said, “Well, we’ve got Cole Hamels out of the way. Now we can get after (insert names here) tomorrow and Wednesday.” Except this time (insert names here) are Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt. That cannot be a comforting feeling knowing the Phillies hold a four-game lead in the NL East with just 11 games to play.
“You never want to feel comfortable in this game or relaxed, but I think at the same time, if there’s ever a time when you feel confident with where you’re at, that’s got to be right now considering what we’ve done the last two months to catch the Braves and go ahead a little bit,” Brad Lidge said. “Yes, if they do their thing and we all take care of our business then I like our chances a lot.”
A few things about tonight:
- Hamels is 6-3 with a 1.74 ERA in 14 starts since July 10, which is the second-best ERA in baseball in that span. (Only Seattle’s Felix Hernandez has been better with a 1.59 ERA). Hamels also is 5-0 with a 0.49 ERA in his last five starts. The guy is pitching with tons of confidence right now. He worked out of a serious jam in the second inning. He is confident throwing any of his four pitches for strikes. He is looking tough.
- Lidge looked nasty in the ninth inning. He is 0-0 with a 0.91 ERA and 14 saves in 15 chances since July 31. It is such a huge boost to the bullpen to have Lidge throwing well. If Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt can give the Phillies seven or eight innings, Charlie Manuel has to feel pretty good going with Lidge, Ryan Madson, Jose Contreras and Chad Durbin in the late innings.
- The magic number is eight.
- Not sure how I feel about Red Man running onto the field. On one hand, I hate these people because they are idiots. Idiots. On the other hand, I loved seeing Matt Diaz trip up the guy as he avoided ballpark security (Get those security guys cleats!) and seeing Diaz smile as Phillies fans in left field cheered him. Red Man, you are no Green Man!