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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Game 124: Hamels pitches 8 scoreless; Utley, Howard deliver (73-51)

The Phillies beat the Pirates tonight, 4-1 in 10 innings, behind 8 shutout innings from Cole Hamels and home runs by Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Because of Brad Lidge's unavailability, Charlie Manuel called upon Ryan Madson to pitch the 9th inning while the Phillies clinged to a 1-0 lead. Madson allowed a one-out home run to pinch-hitter Brandon Moss, but the Pirates were not able to take the lead. Howard homered in the 10th to break the tie and make it 4-1, and Madson shut down the 10th for the victory, despite his blown save.

There is really not much to say about Manuel in tonight's game, other than that he could have used Lidge tonight in the 9th inning if Lidge did not appear in Monday's 4-run victory over New York. As an anonymous commenter pointed out yesterday, that poor decision Monday not only made Lidge uneffective last night (which led to a blown save) but also caused Lidge's unavailability tonight (which led to a blown save).

Regardless, the Phils picked up a nice win by overcoming a very slow 9 innings for the offense. Hamels pitched very well, and, yes, it was the Pirates - but it's better than not pitching very well against the Pirates. Hopefully tonight's start is not an aberration.

The Phils go for the series win tomorrow at 7:05 pm when LHP J.A. Happ faces RHP Charlie Morton.

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