On the same day Philadelphia Phillies fans found out that JA Happ would finally replace Chan Ho Park in the starting rotation, Cole Hamels once again defeated the Cincinnati Reds, in Great American Ballpark.
The Phillies beat the Reds 4-3 in a game where Philadelphia's ace threw a season high 117 pitches to pick up yet another win against the Reds. Hamels is now 3-0 at Great American Ballpark and more importantly 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA in his last four starts.
Ryan Howard got the scoring opened up with his ninth homer in the second inning.
After the Phillies put together a three-run fifth inning to regain the lead for good, the refreshed bullpen took over. Clay Condrey, and Ryan Madson shut down the Reds in the seventh and eighth, with Brad Lidge fashionably closing out his third consecutive appearance.
With the win, it was the Phillies fifth straight(21-16) and keep their hold on first place in the National League East over the Mets.
If you ask Cole Hamels how he felt about the pitch count he had throughout six innings, you might be surprised with his answer.
"I don't think that's something I want to do in such a short amount of innings," Hamels said of throwing 117 pitches.
"Sometimes you need to finish guys off and they keep fouling it off and that just adds to your pitch count. Sometimes it's a challenging game. The hitters are good. You try and minimize pitches but it's not always going to work out for me."
Hamels was not only the star on the mound for the Phils, but perhaps the key component on the offensive side of the game.
Hamels helped his own cause with the bat in his hand also, hitting a single that led to three of their four runs. Pedro Feliz ripped a leadoff double, followed by a Carlos Ruiz flyout. This brings to the plate Cole Hamels. Rather than sacrifice to move Feliz to third, Hamels hit a single to drive in Feliz.
The phrase "hitting is contagious" really rang through after the single by the pitcher. Jimmy Rollins doubled in Hamels, then Chase Utley smacked an RBI single then Raul Ibanez hit a sacrifice fly.
Back to the Rollins side of things, he is batting .363 (8-for-22) with a double, triple and three RBIs during the Phils current five-game winning streak.
"When he goes, we go," Howard said. "I don't think anybody was worried about what was going on. He got off to a slow start, but that's why you play 162 games. All that matters is where you are at the end.
"If he's hot at the end of the season and we're hot at the end of the season, nobody will even remember the slow start. You knew at some point he was going to come back and putting it together. We're used to it. It's J-Roll being J-Roll," Howard added.
The Phils extended their Major-League leading record on the road to 13-4 and will send Jamie Moyer to mound tonight. Moyer, 46, is still looking for his 250th career victory.
Rollins quote: Daily News