It Would Seem to be Hittin’ Season Once Again

PHOTO CREDIT: ERIC HARTLINE-USA TODAY SPORTS

It was just like old times at Citizens Bank Park tonight. It really was.

Cole Hamels was on the mound, and Charlie Manuel was in the dugout watching his offense batter the opposing team’s starting pitcher into submission.

Unfortunately for Hamels, he was the opposing team’s starting pitcher.

That face. That look. Let Charlie’s eyes permeate your soul and instill it with hope and confidence. This look right here is like Manuel’s version of blue steel.

I can almost hear him muttering to himself, “You’re, like, well, god damn right we’re swinging the bats tonight.

That’s my hitting coach.

As for Hamels, he failed to record an out in the third inning after surrendering eight earned runs on nine hits.

The Phillies, who had previously failed to win back-to-back games this month, jumped on Hamels early when Rhys Hoskins snapped a 2 for 32 skid with a leadoff single in his first career plate appearance at the top of the order.

Bryce Harper would follow two batters later by obliterating an 0-1 Hamels fastball 413 feet to the opposite field for his 23rd homer of the season.

Give it to me:

Unlike plenty of other occasions in which the Phillies scored early and then went silent, they didn’t stop scoring tonight. It’s like they couldn’t stop scoring.

With the team mired in a 19 for 96 stretch with runners in scoring position, Aaron Nola singled to extend the Phillies lead. Hoskins would follow by notching his first RBI in nine games with a sacrifice fly.

By the time J.T. Realmuto, who is now hitting .333 with nine extra-base hits in 13 games this month, doubled later in the inning, chants of “Charlie! Charlie!” began raining down from the stands.

Those same chants were heard after Realmuto’s next at-bat in which he did this:

You can’t make this shit up.

Hey, Bryce. You know what? I liked that thing you did earlier – give it to me again:

Hard to believe that overrated bust Bryce Harper is on pace for 32 homers, 111 walks, a career-best 115 RBIs, and a career-best 41 doubles.

Good Seeing You Again!

Hamels wasn’t around for very long on Wednesday night, but Phillies fans welcomed him with a lengthy standing ovation when he came to the plate during the top of the third inning:

It was a special moment, and considering Manuel’s recent unexpected return to the dugout, perhaps a reunion with the 2008 World Series MVP is possible this offseason.

Hamels will be 36 years old next season, and despite being unequivocally brutal tonight, he did enter the game with a 2.79 ERA in 31 starts with the Cubs dating back to late last season.

Count me in.

Aaron Nola, Also Good at Throwing Baseballs

‘Twas a night to reflect on the greatness of a former Phillies ace and appreciate the greatness – yeah, I said it – the greatness of the current Phillies ace.

Nola turned in a dominant seven innings in which he allowed one earned run on three hits while striking out seven and walking only one.

In his last 11 starts dating back to June 21, Nola has a 2.09 ERA with a 0.982 WHIP and 10.2 K/9.

That’s ace shit.

It Has Happened Before

Former legendary Cleveland Indians manager Lou Brown who guided greats Rick Vaughn, Jake Taylor, Rube Baker, and Pedro Cerrano to an AL pennant back in the early 90s once said, “We won a game yesterday, if we win one today, that’s two in a row. If we win one tomorrow, that’s called a winning streak. It has happened before.”

I mention this because the Phillies are a mere one victory away from a winning streak, something they haven’t had since July 21-24.

If they’re feeling really frisky and decide to sweep the Cubs, a team that has gone 0-10-2 over its last 12 road series, the Phils will have a shot at four straight wins on Friday night for the first time since their four-game sweep of the Mets back on June 24-27.

Broadcast Highlights

Where to begin? First, we have a drop in from Chris Wheeler, sans hair, who I kind of miss:

Speaking of Kruk, he seemed to be enjoying himself down by the dugout tonight:

And more:

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