Cliff Lee said that Carlos Ruiz was the Phillies most valuable player in 2012, and throughout the Phillies first 25 games, it was clear that they missed Chooch’s bat and chemistry with the pitching staff. Today the Phils welcomed back Chooch, as they looked to sweep the Mets, and get Cole Hamels his first victory of 2013.
Things got off to a rough start in the first as the Phillies left the bases loaded in the top half, and then in the bottom of the first Cole Hamels allowed David Wright to hit a sinking line drive into left, to put the Mets on the board.
Cole Hamels never really settled in from there, allowing six walks, but he didn’t give up a hit for the remaining five innings he pitched. Hamels still doesn’t appear the be locked in, as hitters are working deep counts on him, but he is improving from an extremely slow start.
Jon Niese was impressive today for the Mets, but the one blunder he had was allowing a fifth inning homerun from Freddy Galvis, to allow the Phillies to tie the game at one. Niese exited after 6.2 innings, and that is when the Phillies bats came alive.
Ryan Howard, who got a puzzling day off today, pinch-hit in the seventh, and absolutely tattooed a pitch from Steve Atchinson, driving it off the wall in center, bringing Laynce Nix and Jimmy Rollins home. Howard continues to have great career success as pinch-hitter, and he continues to warm-up in general as the month of April winds down.
Chase Utley singled Howard in next at-bat, and John Mayberry added on a fifth run on the eighth inning. The Phillies still missed a big opportunity in the first inning, but their bats were impressive in this series.
Antonio Bastardo, Mike Adams, and Jonathan Papelbon pitched three scoreless innings out of the bullpen to get Cole Hamels his first win of the season today, and help the Phillies to finish off a three game series sweep over the Mets.
Carlos Ruiz went 1-4 in his first game of 2013, but having him back behind the plate is a major plus, and his bat will heat up as he gets more at-bats.
This was the Phillies first sweep of the season, and it leads them into an off day tomorrow, before they head to Progressive Field for an important three game set with the Cleveland Indians.