It’s fitting that Phillies starter Cole Hamels would achieve a career milestone against the team against which he debuted way back in 2006. On Saturday night, Hamels picked up career victory number 100, holding the Reds to one run over seven innings on three hits and two walks while striking out ten. He also turned heads when he struck out the side in the third inning on nine pitches.
It was Hamels’ seventh attempt at the feat, having earned three losses and three no-decisions dating back to September 20 last season. He joins Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Pete Alexander, Chris Short, Curt Simmons, and Curt Schilling as the seven Phillies to have picked up triple digit victories in their careers, dating back to 1901.
Hamels has had a rough go of it since returning on April 23 after battling tendonitis in his left shoulder. Saturday’s outing lowers his ERA to 4.40 and he has a 34/12 K/BB ratio in 30 2/3 innings.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.