for this game

Hamels dominates as Phillies take series lead

Oct 2, 2008 - 12:03 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- It was 15 years ago that Curt Schilling became a star in the postseason for the Philadelphia Phillies. On Wednesday, it was Cole Hamels' turn.

Hamels retired the first 14 batters and the Phillies batted around in the third en route to the franchise's first postseason win since 1993, a 3-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in Game One of the National League Division Series.

Philadelphia's last postseason win was on October 21, 1993, when Schilling threw a shutout in Game Five of the World Series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

"In postseason (play), it's about pitching," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "The pitchers are bearing down and they're focused on what they want to do. Hitters might be a little tight and anxious."

Hamels (1-0) struck out nine while allowing two hits and a walk in eight innings to notch his first career postseason win. The 24-year-old lefthander was perfect until allowing a single to Corey Hart with two outs in the fifth.

"Going into today, I tried to be as relaxed as I possibly could," Hamels said. "Yet, I still wanted to go out there and win just because I knew what it would do for our team. From that very first pitch in the first inning, I gave that confidence in our players."

The only other hit that Hamels surrendered was a one-out single to Craig Counsell in the sixth inning.

"I didn't have the best bullpen (session) before the game but that's where I really had to bear down," Hamels said. "I was a little bit aggressive in the beginning but I was still able to get guys to swing and miss."

Brad Lidge made it interesting in the ninth, allowing one run, but stranded the tying run on second base by striking out Hart to close the frame.

"You go through enough save opportunities, they're not all clean ones," Lidge said. "They're all tough. Sometimes you have a 1-2-3 inning. Sometimes a guy scores. Sometimes you give up some hits. But it's my job to make sure we still get the win."

Brewers righthander Yovani Gallardo (0-1) was let down by his defense in the third, when second baseman Rickie Weeks' error led to three unearned runs. Center fielder Mike Cameron also misplayed a fly ball into a double.

Carlos Ruiz led off with a single before Hamels attempted a sacrifice bunt. Third baseman Bill Hall fielded and threw to Weeks covering first. The ball hit off the heel of Weeks' glove, allowing Hamels to reach safely.

"It was an unfortunate little hiccup right there," Brewers manager Dale Sveum said. "Unfortunately, we went from having a guy thrown out to (runners on) first and second and nobody out."

Gallardo retired the next two batters before Chase Utley drove a 2-2 pitch into center for a two-run double. Utley's ball appeared to be catchable, but it glanced off the glove of center fielder Mike Cameron, who took a wrong route to the ball.

"Let's just say if it wasn't the variables of the wind, somehow the ball just rose up. Because I don't miss too many balls out there," Cameron said. "If it wasn't windy out there, we would be out of the inning."

Gallardo lost the strike zone after intentionally walking Ryan Howard, allowing free passes Pat Burrell and Shane Victorino to force in another run.

"(Walking Howard was) obviously the right thing to do," Sveum said. "You're taking a bat out of a guy's hands who can get two runs on the board with one swing of the bat. Unfortunately, we happened to walk a couple of guys."

The 24-year-old Gallardo, who was making his second start since injuring his knee and undergoing surgery on May 1, was lifted after four innings. He allowed three hits and walked five while striking out three.

"Besides the walks, I thought he had decent stuff," Sveum said. "He felt pretty strong. Obviously, he threw (35) pitches in that third inning, and you'd like to see the difference if we didn't have that hiccup defensively."

Gallardo was forced into Game One duty because ace CC Sabathia pitched on the final day of the regular season and Ben Sheets was left off the NLDS roster with an elbow injury.

Mitch Stetter, Carlos Villanueva, Manny Parra and Guillermo Mota combined to allow one hit over the final four frames, but Hamels refused to bend, retiring the final eight batters he faced.

"Hamels threw the ball well," Milwaukee left fielder Ryan Braun said. "The umpire gave him a lot of borderline pitches, which caused us to swing at some pitches we shouldn't have swung at, but he's one of the better pitchers in the league. He deserves credit."






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

    BATTERIES: MIL - YOVANI GALLARDO, MITCH STETTER (5TH), CARLOS VILLANUEVA (5TH),
    MANNY PARRA (8TH), GUILLERMO MOTA (8TH) AND JASON KENDALL
    PHI - COLE HAMELS, BRAD LIDGE (9TH) A

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    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 1
    PHILADELPHIA 3 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: P FIELDER (.000, 0-FOR-3)

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    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, S VICTORINO ON FIRST, P BURRELL ON SECOND, R
    HOWARD ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 0
    PHILADELPHIA 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
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    AT PHILADELPHIA PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CHASE UTLEY SCORED CARLOS RUIZ AND COLE HAMELS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C UTLEY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MILWAUKEE 0
    PHILADELPHIA 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: R HOWARD (.000, 0-FOR-0, BB)

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