Phillies ace lefthander Cole Hamels got more than he bargained for on Monday; his own 2 hits and 2 RBIs, a 7 inning, 1 run, 3 hit gem as well as being beneficiary of a 10 run first inning pounding of Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto who lasted 2/3rds of an inning giving 9 of the runs. Hamels was treated 4 Phillies homers including an eighth inning grand slam by rightfielder Jayson Werth to cap the Phils massive scoring. When the scoring onslaught mercifully subsided in the eighth inning with 1st baseman Greg Dobbs and 3rd baseman Pedro Feliz going down to end the inning, the Phillies had crushed the Reds by a whopping 22-1 score.
With the one-sided win, and the Florida Marlins’ loss to the San Francisco Giants, the Phillies NL East division lead jumped to 2 games over the Marlins. The Mets, who had Monday off, dropped to 4 1/2 games back and Atlanta who lost to the Chicago Cubs dropped to 5 games off of the pace.
One has to wonder though about what the next games will bring after the Phils pumped this many runs into one game. AP sports writer Rob Maaddi, who’s recap for Yahoo sports read like a lengthy dissertation rather than a recap, notes what happened last season after the Phils lumped this many runs into one game:
That 20-2 win over the Cardinals came but 19 days after the Phils pummeled the Colorado Rockies by a a 20-5 score on May 26th. After that game, the Phils went on a winning run so, I suppose, things could go either way after this one, although the Phils offense coming into the Cincinnati opener has not exactly been in high-gear. But three 20 run games in 2 seasons — Wow! Keep in mind that between 1957 and 2007, the Phils had scored 20 runs or more in exactly 3 games, one of them being that wild-and-wooly 23-22 ten inning slugfest at Wrigley Field with the Chicago Cubs which the Phils won on Mike Schmidt’s tenth inning solo shot off of Cubs closer Bruce Sutter.
The Phils scored 22 runs on 21 hits and sending 13 hitters to the plate while scoring 10 runs in the first inning alone. Phillies Nation’s Amanda Orr brings some historical stats in recapping the game:
It was the first time since 1900 that the Phillies beat an opponent by at least twenty runs.
The Phillies scored ten runs in the first inning, nine off Johnny Cueto, who lasted two-thirds of an inning, raising his earned run average from 2.69 to 3.45. The inning marked the fourth time in franchise history that the Phillies scored ten runs in the first inning. The last time the Phillies scored ten runs in the first inning was in July of 2002 against the Montreal Expos.
Shane Victorino made his best “vote for me” campaign with a 4-for-5 night. He homered, drove in four runs, and walked. Greg Dobbs (4-for-6, 2 RBI) and Chase Utley (2-for-3, 4 RBI) also homered. Jayson Werth (2-for-5, 5 RBI) hit a grand slam in the eighth inning off Paul Janish, a shortstop, as the Reds were desperate to save their bullpen.
Every starter in the Phillies lineup had at least one hit, including Cole Hamels (2-for-4). Jimmy Rollins (3-for-4) continued his hitting ways. The only batter who did not get a hit was John Mayberry Jr. (0-for-1, BB), who came in as a substitute. Matt Stairs had one plate appearance and walked. Other than that, six Phillies had a multi-hit night. Two Phillies (Victorino and Dobbs) had four hits. Every batter reached base at least once.
The last time the Phillies pounded 22 runs was in 1985 against the New York Mets. It is also the third most runs the Phillies scored in one game. Not only did the win make Phillies history, but Reds history, marking their largest margin of defeat, 21 runs.
The rout was sooo complete sooo early that manager Manuel gave both 2nd baseman Chase Utley and 1st baseman Ryan Howard some in-game rest in the fourth inning pinch-running Eric Bruntlett after Utley’s RBI single and pinch-running John Mayberry Jr. for Howard after his RBI single.
But while most of textual thunder has gone to the Phillies’ heavy lumber, Hamels deserves much credit as well. After leftfielder Jonny Gomes’ second inning leadoff homer, Hamels went on to retire the last 18 of 19 Reds hitters he faced in evening his seasonal record at 5-5. He walked no one while striking out 2. The only other hits Hamels allowed were 2 out singles in the first and fifth innings in one of the finest outings he’s had this season.
The bullpen largely rested due to both the offensive explosion and Hamels’ performance. The Big Bucks relievers; Ryan Madson, Chan Ho Park, J.C. Romero and closer Brad Lidge were all able to catch breathers as Tyler Walker and re-activated lefthander Scott Eyre, in a low-risk situation closed down the Reds in the eighth and ninth innings.
For the scores of all of Monday’s games, click here.
In Tuesday’s game 2, young, unbeaten lefthander J.A, Happ, fresh from 3 consecutive excellent outings including a complete game shutout, is opposed by Aaron Harang for the Reds. Harang has been up and down so far this season.
For all of Tuesday’s games, click here.