It was the type of win the Phillies needed.
Preventing an early-May sweep to the Nationals, the Phillies combined a brilliant outing by Cole Hamels and an offensive outburst by Hunter Pence and the rest of the team to beat the Nationals, 9-3, preventing the sweep in the Nation’s Capital.
“Hollywood” Hamels was spectacular as always against the Washington Nationals, improving to 11-4 in his career against the Nationals. He went eight innings, allowing a run on five hits, walk and hit batter while striking out eight.
Washington scored first in a bizarre 1st inning. With two outs, Hamels plunked Nationals star Bryce Harper, which was intentional according to the Phillies left-hander after the game.
“I was trying to hit him. I’m not going to deny it,” Hamels told reporters with a laugh. “It’s something I grew up watching. That’s what happened. I’m just trying to continue the old baseball. Some people get away from it. I remember when I was a rookie, the strike zone was really, really small and you didn’t say anything. That’s the way baseball is. Sometimes the league is protecting certain players. It’s that old-school prestigious way of baseball.”
Harper then got to third on a single by Jayson Werth. There is where he got his payback on Hamels.
Hamels’ turned his attention towards Werth at first while Harper crept down the third base line. As Hamels began his pick off move, Harper was already halfway towards home plate, sliding in safely underneath Laynce Nix’s high throw to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.
The Nationals responded to Hamels plunking Harper when Jordan Zimmerman hit Hamels in the foot. But Hamels got the last laugh and he proceeded to shut down the Nationals the rest of the way.
Hamels talked about being plunked as well.
“Oh yeah, that’s baseball,” Hamels said. “I’m kind of happy that’s the way it works, because that’s the way it should. And I don’t think the umpires should interfere with it. Let baseball be baseball. I grew up playing the game hard and watching it, and that’s the way it was, and I’d hate for them to change it, which has kind of happened in recent years. Just let it play out and then we get back to playing, and that’s just the way it is.”
While Hamels was dealing, the Phillies offense was hitting Zimmerman like they have before.
Zimmerman gave up a three-run 4th inning that was started by a Hunter Pence two-run homer. Placido Polanco added an RBI single later in the inning to give the Phils a 3-1 lead.
The pitching for either team coasted the rest of the way until the Phillies exploded in a six-run 9th inning. Jimmy Rollins scored on an RBI single by Juan Pierre to make it 4-1 and Pierre scored on an RBI triple by Shane Victorino to make it 5-1.
Hunter Pence then ripped his second two-run homer in the game to give the Phils a 7-1 lead. Lastly, Freddy Galvis hit a two-run single to make it 9-1.
2B: Polanco (4). 3B: Victorino (1). HR: Pence 2 (6).
WP: Hamels (4-1). LP: Zimmerman (1-3).