The Phils end the first half of the regular season on a high note as they sweep the 1st place Reds behind the six-hit pitching of Cole Hamels, as they defeat the Reds, 1-0.
The Phils took the lead in the third as, with a runner on second, and with two men out, Jimmy Rollins hits an RBI single, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who was safe on second on a ground-rule double, thanks to fan interference as a fan in the left center field seats touched the ball while it was still in play, which was confirmed when the umpires reviewed the call, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead. The Reds tried to come back in the fourth, as they loaded the bases, via a single to Paul Janish and walks to Joey Votto and Scott Rolen, and with nobody out, when Jonny Gomes hit into a force out, 5-2, wiping out Janish at home as Ruiz touches the plate for the inning’s first out, while both Votto and Rolen would move up a base, and Gomes would be safe at first. The Phils then got out of the inning as Jay Bruce lined out to Phils’ starter Cole Hamels, who would catch the ball before it could hit the ground, then throw over to second for a 1-6 doubleplay, doubling up Votto, to end the inning, with the Phils still in the lead. The Phils then tried to increase their lead in their half of the fourth, as they loaded the bases via a ground-rule double for Jayson Werth, as another fan interfered with a ball in play, this time preventing what could have been either a triple or an inside-the-park home run, depending on how the ball would’ve hit the wall in center field, by catching it, a call that was once again confirmed by a review by the umpires, Ryan Howard being hit by the pitch, and a walk to Ruiz, moving both Werth and Howard up a base, and with two men out. Reds starter Matt Maloney would turn the Phils’ away by getting Wilson Valdez to hit into a force out at third, 6-5, wiping out Howard for the inning’s final out. Neither team would make another serious threat during the game as both starters would keep the bats under control. The game would end as a Phils win as the Reds would go down 1-2-3 in the ninth as J.C. Romero would strike out Bruce swinging for the inning’s first out, then Brad Lidge would record his sixth save of the season by first striking out Drew Stubbs swinging and then getting pitch hitter Miguel Cairo to pop out to right for the game’s final out.
Cole Hamels gets the win as he pitches seven and two-thirds strong innings, giving up six scattered hits and three walks, while striking out three. His record is now 7-7 with a 3.78 ERA. Jose Contreras collects his seventh hold of the year as he pitches a third of an innings, walking a batter. J.C. Romero also pitches a third of an inning, striking out the only man that he would face, collecting his fourth hold of the season. Brad Lidge collects his sixth save of the year as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, getting out both men that he would face, striking out one. Matt Maloney took the lost, as he pitches six innings, giving up a run on four hits and a walk, while striking out one. His record is now 0-2 with a 3.09 ERA. Nick Masset and Arthur Rhodes pitches for two shut out innings, giving up just one walk (Masset) and a hit batter (Rhodes) between them, while striking out three (Masset).
The Phils had just four hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with two hits, both singles, as he knocked in the only run of the game, for the second game in a row. Carlos Ruiz and Jayson Werth had the other two Phils’ hits, both ground-rule doubles, thanks to fan interference in both cases, with the second one, on Werth’s hit, being the more costly, as it might have ended up being either a triple or an inside-the-park home run, based on where the ball might have hit the wall and with Reds’ center fielder Drew Stubbs being positioned almost against the wall in center, that ball would have been going places, but, since the fan caught it, we may never know. Guys, let the ball alone unless you are quite sure it will be leaving the ballpark. You may never know what might be the results.
The Phils (47-40, 3rd NL East) will be off for the next three days (except for Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay, who will both be at the All-Star Game), trying to recharge their batteries before they start the second half with a four-game set against the Cubs (39-50, 4th NL Central) in Chicago at Wrigley Field.