How long can Cole Hamels keep this incredibly hot hand?
Well, the scoreless streak was certainly impressive and fun to watch while it lasted, but sadly it had to come to an end eventually and it didn't take long against the Florida Marlins Tuesday night.
Hamels gave up his first run in 25 innings in the first inning, but to the delight of everyone in Philadelphia and Phillies fans everywhere, it was the only run he would give up. It's a good thing too, since his offense was only about to score two runs.
The latest terrific outing by Hamels included 13 strikeouts, the most by any NL pitcher this year, and a career-high 127 pitches. Charlie Manuel will give Hamels an extra day of rest so he can be the first guy to pitch when the Phils begin a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves on September 20th.
Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt will follow Hamels in the series.
Hamels is tied for second in the NL with 201 strikeouts -- oddly enough with teammate Roy Halladay. Those strikeouts are a big part of why he's been so great this year. He's striking guys out in key situations and getting ahead of nearly every batter he faces.
Adding the cutter has certainly helped, as well. Not only because it has given him an extra weapon in an already-strong arsenal, but it gives batters something else to think about when they step up to the plate.
Halladay and Oswalt dominating is all but a given, but now that Hamels is dominating as well, the Phils are set up nicely to put the Braves away once and for all and enter the playoffs as perhaps the most feared team in any league.