for this game

Hamels, Phillies blank Nationals

Sep 29, 2007 - 5:33 AM By Vince DiGregorio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- It took 160 games, but the Philadelphia Phillies are now all alone atop the National League East Division.

Lefthander Cole Hamels tossed eight solid innings as the Phillies defeated the Washington Nationals, 6-0, in the opener of the season-ending three-game series Friday.

The victory, coupled with New York's 7-4 loss to the Florida Marlins at Shea Stadium, moved the Phillies (88-72) into first place in the NL East ahead of the Mets (87-73). It marks the first time this season Philadelphia has had sole possession of first place.

The last time the Phillies led the NL East this late in the season was on October 1, 1993, which was the last time they reached the postseason.

"I didn't expect to be in this position that we're in right now," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "But it doesn't surprise me because I've been in this game a long time and I've seen a lot of things happen.

"That's why from the start of the season on, you stay right with it. If you stay with it, good things can happen for you."

Jimmy Rollins added a two-run single and Ryan Howard hit a two-run homer as the Phillies snapped the Nationals' four-game winning streak.

"Up a game with two to go, we're not playing catch-up anymore," Rollins said. "We've got to go out there and win out just to make sure."

Citizens Bank Park again resembled a playoff-type atmosphere as the sellout crowd of 45,084 waved rally towels and roared whenever a favorable update from the Marlins-Mets game was posted on the scoreboard.

After Hamels (15-5) gave up four singles in the first two innings, he settled in and dominated by retiring eight straight batters, including five in a row via strikeout. The southpaw wound up retiring 19 of the last 22 batters he faced.

"I think being able to go out there and put up good numbers is always great, but it took everybody," Hamels said. "For myself, just to be able to go out there and throw strike one and strike two, it definitely made things a little bit easier."

Hamels gave up six hits and one walk. He struck out 13 batters for his third double-digit strikeout game of the season.

"At this point of the season and where we're at, it's definitely key to go out and obviously have your best game ever," Hamels said. "It's a huge moment, and you just have to kind of gather yourself and do what you've been doing since you were five years old in the backyard - just go have fun."

With the game scoreless after four innings, the Phillies got to Nationals starter Tim Redding for three runs in the fifth.

Greg Dobbs singled after just missing an upper-deck home run down the right field line. Redding then hit Carlos Ruiz with a pitch before Hamels sacrificed the runners over.

Rollins then grounded the first pitch to center for a two-run single that gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead.

"The first couple of innings, I think both sides played a little tight," Rollins said. "It was a situation where I was gonna get an RBI. I didn't know how - a sac fly or something. Fortunately, I got a single up the middle that brought home two (runs).

"I just wasn't gonna let Cole's bunt go to waste. We've been having trouble moving guys over on bunts."

Rollins stole second and, one out later, scored on Chase Utley's double down the right field line to make it 3-0.

"We've been focused for a while now," Rollins said. "It's not about playing on emotion, it's about playing good baseball. This is the playoffs for us. If we lose, we probably don't get in. But if we win, we're probably gonna get in, and that's the mind set."

Redding (3-6) was removed after giving up a leadoff double to Pat Burrell in the sixth inning. Jonathan Albaladejo came on and eventually gave up an RBI grounder by Hamels to make it 4-0 after the Nationals failed to turn a double play.

Howard extended the lead in the seventh inning when he launched his 45th home run, a two-run shot over the left-center field wall off lefthander Arnie Munoz.

Washington threatened in the second inning by loading the bases with one out on three singles. However, Hamels got his counterpart Redding to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Redding went five-plus innings and allowed four runs - three earned - and six hits.

"(Redding) threw the ball well for us, but he ran into Cole Hamels," said Nationals manager Manny Acta, who had the one-year option on his contract exercised earlier Friday. "Hamels just flat-out shut us down. He was just dominant."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 2
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 0 0 3 1 2 0 x 6 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - TIM REDDING, JONATHAN ALBALADEJO (6TH), ARNIE MUNOZ (7TH),
    CHRIS SCHRODER (7TH), JESUS COLOME (8TH) AND JESUS FLORES
    PHI - COLE HAMELS, CLAY CONDREY (9TH) AND

    Sep 28 10:06 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN HOWARD (45) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF ARNIE MUNOZ SCORED CHASE UTLEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0, PHILADELPHIA 6
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: A ROWAND (.312, 1-FOR-3)

    Nationals vs. PhilliesSep 28 9:21 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY COLE HAMELS SCORED MICHAEL BOURN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C HAMELS ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    PHILADELPHIA 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: J ROLLINS (.296, 1-FOR-3, 2 RBI)

    Nationals vs. PhilliesSep 28 9:05 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CHASE UTLEY SCORED JIMMY ROLLINS.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C UTLEY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    PHILADELPHIA 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: R HOWARD (.264, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals vs. PhilliesSep 28 8:36 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JIMMY ROLLINS SCORED GREG DOBBS AND CARLOS RUIZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J ROLLINS ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    PHILADELPHIA 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: S VICTORINO (.285, 1-FOR-2)

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