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News » Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-09

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-09

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-09
Three days ago, Cole Hamels boldly tempted fate.

After being cleared to make his scheduled start Friday night against the Atlanta Braves, Hamels talked about the freak injuries that had shortened his previous two outings. He got hit in the left shoulder by a line drive in the fourth inning April 23 against the Brewers, then sprained his left ankle while fielding a bunt in the fifth inning April 28 against the Nationals.

"I'd rather have these sort of freak injuries than take one off the face or blow your arm out or your knee out and be on the DL for about 60 days," Hamels said.

The way Hamels' luck was going, anything seemed possible.

But he returned to the mound Friday night at Citizens Bank Park and flummoxed the Braves for six innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks and striking out seven in six innings in a 10-6 victory. Most importantly, he threw a season-high 95 pitches and escaped without any bodily injury.

"Shoot, I'm glad nothing came down and hit me," Hamels said. "It was almost abnormal just being out there in the fifth inning and the sixth inning -- 'Wow, where am I?' -- just because I haven't been out there in a really long time."

Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP, has been felled by a series of maladies this season. He missed nearly a week in spring training because of inflammation and stiffness in his left elbow, leaving him ill-prepared to start the season. In his first two starts, Hamels posted an 11.17, prompting questions about whether his heavy workload in 2008 was affecting his arm strength.

Then came the two freak injuries.

But everything seemed back to normal Friday night. And after Hamels walked two batters in the sixth, manager Charlie Manuel considered taking him out. But Manuel said catcher Chris Coste and second baseman Chase Utley talked him into sticking with Hamels, who didn't allow another run.

"It helps having my teammates, especially Utley with his leadership," Hamels said. "He definitely knows a lot about the game. I can say anything and everything, but when the manager has his mind made up and a couple other players say, 'Let's keep him in here to get these guys out,' that's great."

PHILLIES 10, BRAVES 6: Jayson Werth, Chris Coste and Chase Utley homered to back a strong six-inning performance from ace lefty Cole Hamels in the opener of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies jumped to a 6-0 lead by the end of the third inning and led 10-3 in the ninth when closer Brad Lidge surrendered a three-run homer to Casey Kotchman. Each of the Phillies' starting position players had one hit except Shane Victorino, whose career-high 16-game hitting streak was snapped. Hamels allowed two runs on three hits and struck out seven in six innings. He threw 95 pitches in his best outing of the season.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 9, 2009

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