Cole Hamels Looks Great, Jimmy Rollins Gets Hurt

Written By Bob Cunningham On Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Another Rollins injury killed the mood Wednesday.

Cole Hamels, the subject of a lot of warranted scrutiny in 2009, has bounced back something fierce in 2010. Anyone who has seen him pitch can see he's a guy who has been playing with a chip on his shoulder and has absolutely no thoughts of slowing down.

He continued to show that Wednesday night as the first-place Phillies took on the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. They needed to win to stay on top of the division, and they did just that behind Hamels and seven scoreless innings.

Over those seven innings, Hamels allowed only four hits, one walk, and struck out five. He also extended his streak of scoreless innings pitched to a very impressive 25. It's the longest streak by a Phillies starting pitcher since 2002, and is only three and a third innings away from tying J.C. Romero's 28.1 scoreless innings pitched in the 2007 into the 2008 season.

Something tells me Hamels won't allow himself to fall short of breaking Romero's streak. He's a man on a mission this season and this streak clearly means a lot to him. He made that very evident when, even with a 9-0 lead, he was pitching for strikeouts as opposed to throwing fastball after fastball and pitching to contact.

Not to be outdone by a pitcher, Ryan Howard had one of his best games of the year, driving in six runs -- including a three-run shot in the fourth, his 28th of the season.

But in a stroke of bad luck expected by the 2010 version of the Phillies, Jimmy Rollins left the game with what appeared to be a pulled hamstring. He's officially day-to-day, but Rollins has had awful luck with leg injuries this year, so it's a cause for concern.

I would expect Charlie Manuel to hold Rollins out of a few games until he's absolutely positive Rollins is good to go, but it's also possible things take a turn for the worse. Neither of Rollins' other two injuries were supposed to be all that bad, but we saw how that turned out.

The Phils have Thursday off before starting what is sure to be a very difficult series with the New York Mets, so they'll need Rollins back sooner rather than later if they're going to keep their spot at the top of NL East.

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