PHILADELPHIA -- It's almost impossible to believe, but the Phillies are only 3-9 in games started by Cy Young award winners Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee this season. That's been largely a result of lack of run support.
Fortunately for them, Cole Hamels has picked up the slack.
The lanky left-hander lost his first start of the season. Since then he's tied his career] high with a five-game winning streak, including Sunday against the Padres when he allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings.
That streak covers six starts and the Phillies have won all of them. Overall, he's 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA.
Hamels was making his first start since being suspended for admitting he hit Nationals phenom Bryce Harper with a pitch on May 6. His command wasn't as sharp as it usually is, and he said that was because he was having trouble keeping his changeup down in the strike zone. One sign: He walked three batters in the first three innings. By contrast, he walked a total of just three batters in four April starts and had just six for the season coming into play Sunday.
"I had to make some pitches. I had a lot of foul balls. It kind of becomes frustrating, but I felt really good. I felt strong and sometimes when I'm a little too strong it affects my changeup and then I'm up in the zone a little too much," he said. "It was just trying to make the adjustments. And eventually, when you go inning after inning, you get worn down and it clicks."