With the final 5 games of the 2013 season beginning tonight, the Phillies were left with nothing to do but sit back and try to record as many wins as possible before October breaks. They had a good chance of getting one tonight with Cole Hamels making his final start of the year. In what seems to have been two completely separate campaigns during the season, Hamels has been dominant in his last 15 starts. After beginning the season at 2-11, King Cole has gone 6-3 down the stretch, ranking among the best in the league in nearly every pitching category. It's a great sign for fans that immediately saw the 7-year contract he signed last season as a mistake. He would get one more opportunity to impress the fans on the mound. In Miami, he and the Phillies would be opposed by Brad Hand.
As he has all season, Adeiny Hechavarria came up big for his team against Philly. Justin Ruggiano began the second inning with a free pass from Hamels. Former Phillie Placido Polanco managed to reach on an infield single to put a runner in scring position with nobody out. That brought up Hechavarria, who was able to triple into deep center field to bring in both runners and hand Hand (Ha!) a 2-0 lead.
As it has seemed to have done a lot in the last few weeks, the Phillies offense was in hiding. They were not able to make any noise until the seventh. Darin Ruf recorded a one-out double in that frame. Kevin Frandsen singled afterward, which gave Freddy Galvis an opportunity to come through, and he did. A single of his own into right field brought in Ruf to end the shutout. Cesar Hernandez would also single later in the inning to score Frandsen and tie the game at 2-2.
Ethan Martin was called upon to pitch the eighth. Justin Ruggiano and Placido Polanco both reached the same as they had in the second, a walk and a single. With runners on the corners, Hechavarria came through once more, this time with a grounder to short. With Ruggiano running home on the play, Jimmy Rollins' throw went past Carlos Ruiz at the plate and allowed him to score. A 3-2 lead would be just enough for Miami.
Freddy Galvis reached base in the ninth, but could not be brought home, and the Phillies were defeated 3-2. A tough no-decision for Cole on the night, his eleventh on the season. He pitched well once again, but a high pitch count chased him after just six innings. He did eclipse the 200 strikeout mark once more, a stat that is hard to ignore. Still, an 8-14 record and 3.60 ERA is an overall disappointment for Hamels. Looking forward, the Phillies will begin their final series of the season, a 4-game trip to take on the Atlanta Braves. Tyler Cloyd will take on David Hale at 7:05.