Cole Hamels has a new relationship, a great one at that. That connection would be with LA's Dodger Stadium.
After the sixth inning, Hamels had only thrown 62 pitches. He was in NLCS form last night.
"Pitch efficiency is something I've been trying to work on the past couple of weeks," Hamels said.
The only thing the Phillies left-handed ace could say after the game is that he liked their mound. Modesty is a fun tool to play with. Hamels also said the most important thing was that they won and kept their winning streak alive, which stands at seven.
Hamels struck out five while walking none, and brought his ERA down to 4.40. The most compelling fact is that Hamels has not lost a game since his dreaded 0-2 start to the season.
"This is the best one he's pitched this year," Manuel said. "But I've seen him pitch some good ones. This is a good game for him. The way the season has kind of gone so far, this was a very good game for him, confidence-wise."
By the start of the ninth, he had faced just 25 batters in eight innings. Hamels retired a remarkable 15 out the last 16 Dodgers he faced.
Hamels didn't do all this alone, he had help. The Phillies defense was immaculate and protected their ace better than they have all season.
The Phillies offense was based on small ball last night, zero long balls. Ryan Howard's sac fly in the fourth scored Chase Utley. Raul Ibanez continued his tear when he roped a double in the sixth to score center-fielder Jayson Werth.
Werth finished the games scroing with a single in the eighth to score catcher Carlos Ruiz.
The Phillies are 32-20, the second best record in Major League Baseball, and lead the horrid Mets by four games in the NL East.
Jamie Moyer will take the mound tonight in LA, and will face former Phil Eric Milton.
Shane Victorino said yesterday that his injury is not considered serious at all. He left for precautionary reasons. He could be in the lineup tonight, which would be a huge bonus for the Phils to try and continue their win streak.