It was supposed to be Cole Hamels Vs. Jon Lester – an afternoon pitching treat.
Through the first four innings, it was just that. Hamels and Lester were two gun-slingers firing away. They both were dealing.
Yet, a not-so dramatic twist of fate would swing the game into the direction of the Boston Red Sox . That plot twist ultimately was responsible for the Red Sox 5-2 victory in the three game series finale at Citizen’s Bank Park on Thursday.
In the top of the 4th, Adrian Gonzalez smoked a hard line drive right in the direction of Hamels. The ball hit directly off of Hamels’ right hand glove. The glove was knocked off and Hamels was clearly in pain. He stayed in the game but was gone when the fifth inning began. He left with a right hand contusion.
His replacement: the lackluster reliever, David Herndon. The Red Sox took full advantage. With 1 out, Josh Reddick tripled, followed by singles by Drew Sutton and Marco Scutaro. Jacoby Ellsbury added another single, and at innings end, it was 2-0 Red Sox.
It only got worse for Herndon in the sixth as Sox captain, Jason Varitek, sent one to the right field seats to make 3-0.
The Red Sox then received the Phillies’ gift of the bullpen full of triple A relievers. Drew Carpenter entered the game in the 7th and made it through, despite giving up 2 hits, by striking out (the passionately booed) JD Drew with 2 outs .
Though, in the 8th Carpenter’s luck changed. He gave up back to back home runs to Dustin Pedroia and the aforementioned Varitek.
The Sox took a 5-0 lead into the 9th.
Ryan Howard blasted a 2-run 2nd deck bomb in to right field for his 17th homer of the year. But, Jonathan Papelbon finished off the Phils, and the Sox managed to avoid a 3 game sweep.
Though, the good news for the Phillies is that Cole Hamels is expected to make his next start against Florida.
The Phillies now head to Toronto, the old stomping grounds of Roy Halladay. They head there, while maintaing the best record in baseball, and giving the Red Sox (despite the finale) and the American a lot to think bout.