Who was that team last night? It reminded me of a team that used to play here. You remember them—Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins. Oh yeah, that is this team. But it has been a long time since these Phillies have had a game like last night. High scoring, low stress. Just the way I like them.
And with another game in just a couple of hours I'll keep this short and sweet. After all, it's the numbers, not the words, that tell the story of this game:
"It's All in the Numbers" Countdown
10. As in 2010. The Phillies haven't hit five home runs in a game since June of 2010.
9. The number of wins for pitcher Cole Hamels, who became only the second National League nine-game winner. Who's the first? Teammate Roy Halladay, of course.
8. The number of times I asked my son (who was only studying for finals) to check the television during the rain delay to see if the game was on yet.
7. Swans a-swimming. Oooops. I mean the number of home runs Ryan Howard has hit against Marlins starter Chris Volstad. Seven homers is the most for Howard against any opposing pitcher.
6. Last night's win was the sixth for the Phillies in their current homestand, giving them a 6-2 record going into today's doubleheader action.
5. This is an easy one. The five home runs in last night's game including two-run shots from Howard, Utley and Rollins (more on the other homers in No. 2).
4. The number of bruises I have on my arm from pitching myself while watching the game last night to make sure I wasn't dreaming.
3. For the only three hits given up by Phillies starter Cole Hamels in another dominant performance, including a a stretch where he retired 17 straight. Hamels left the game with back tightness in the eighth but says he won't miss a start.
2. As in two solo home runs for Domonic Brown. It was his first career multi-home run game. The way he's been swinging the bat lately, it won't be his last.
1. First place. That's where the Phillies sit in the East and, coupled with a Braves loss last night, the Phillies now have a 3.5-game lead.
So there you have it, by the numbers.
The quote of the night? Phils skipper Charlie Manuel when asked if he was concerned when Hamels had to leave the game: "It's always a concern when I see something like that happen. I can't afford to let my heart skip a lot. I've only got one, and I've had a lot of work done on it."
Well, other than Hamels' early departure, Charlie, last night's game was easy on the heart.
But with two more games today, we'll see if the Phillies can put up any more numbers.