Last night, Ben Sheets kept Philadelphia off-balance for 7 innings of work. Tonight, Cole Hamels returned the favor, throwing a complete game shut out as Atlanta dropped the middle game of the series 3-0.
Philly got on the board early thanks to some defensive miscues from the Braves and a hanging slider from Mike Minor. Jimmy Rollins lead of the game with a double to left. After falling behind Domonic Brown 3-1, Minor left a pitch up and Brown hit it to center. Michael Bourn misplayed what could have been an out, and Rollins scored on what was officially scored an RBI double to Brown. After getting Chase Utley to flyout, Minor threw Ryan Howard 4 straight sliders, the last of which Howard demolished for a two run blast to dead center field. Just like that, it was 3-0 Phillies.
Minor would settle down and allow just 4 hits over the next 6 frames. Minor would finish allowing 3 runs on 7 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5. Definitely not his best outing, but he made a great recovery after the home run allowed in the 1st inning to keep the Braves in the game.
On the other side, Cole Hamels dominated the Braves for Philly. Hamels threw a complete game shut out, allowing only 5 hits to the Braves. Hamels didn't walk a man and struck out 6 Braves. He threw 78 of his 111 pitches for strikes while facing only two batters over the mininum. Not too much else can be said, Hamels simply threw a great game.
The rubber match will be tomorrow when Tim Hudson takes on Kyle Kendrick. First pitch is 7:05 PM.