The Phillies played like WFCs on Tuesday night, winning for the eighth time in ten games, with a 4-3 victory in Arizona. Behind a crowd peppered with Phillies fans, including two in Phillies' wrestling masks, Cole Hamels exhibited the form that made him World Series MVP. Hamels permitted a solo home run to the second batter he faced, and almost nothing else. Hamels pitched eight very impressive innings, surrendering only four hits, while walking none. He struck out nine batters, threw seventy-nine of one-hundred twelve pitches for strikes, and retired the last eight D-backs he faced. With Arizona ace Dan Haren opposing him, Hamels took command of the game, and ensured the Phils the win.
The Phillies took an excellent approach with Haren, forcing him to work deep into counts, which took a serious beating on his pitch count. Eight Phillies had ABs against Haren, in which they saw at least seven pitches. One of the best ABs was by Hamels, who took the count full, stayed alive with a foul ball, and then laced a double into the gap in left-center. Haren was forced out of the game after five innings, having already thrown one-hundred and seventeen pitches. The Phillies' offense was paced by Shane Victorino, who went 3 for 5, falling a triple short of a cycle. Victorino is now batting .319, after his two-RBI night. Brad Lidge got his 20th save, finishing up in the ninth. (Lidge permitted two runs, increasing his ERA to 7.11. Lidge made a non-eventful ending, an eventful one, by adding bad events to the end. But I'm just going to jam that info into parentheses, at the end of a paragraph, because I don't wan't to adversely affect the good Phillies vibe we have going right now.)
The Phillies will go for the sweep in Arizona on Wednesday night, with J.A. Happ (7-1, 2.97 ERA) opposed by Yusmeiro Petit (0-5, 7.68 ERA). Happ's impending regression, which may have begun in his most recent start (the bloopfest against St. Louis), aside, the Phils have to like their sweep chances. The Phillies, currently, lead the NL East by seven games over Florida, and eight over Atlanta. Their postseason odds are already over 79%, and will only be getting better. Especially when they add Roy Halladay to the roster.