The Phillies were mired in the midst of a 4 game losing streak and badly needed one of their stoppers to step up. Tonight, Cole Hamels did just that. The ace lefty pitched 8 scoreless innings, striking out 8 as Phils beat the Nationals 4-1 Wednesday night at Citizens' Bank Park.
The win also snapped a 6 game losing streak against the Nationals, which was the longest in franchise history (not a long history, but still...). Carlos Ruiz continued to be the Phils' main offensive threat going 3-4 tonight hitting out of the cleanup spot. Yes, that's not a mistake... Ruiz hit cleanup tonight.
Shane Victorino drove in a pair of runs and Mike Fontenot had 2 hits and a RBI. Jonathon Papelbon came on to pitch the 9 and surrendered a home run to Adam Laroche, but spared the home crowd further angst striking out Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond before getting Xavier Nady to ground out to end the game.
Despite all their troubles so far, the Phils sit just 4.5 games back in the NL East with 117 games to go.