By Art Beitchman, DOCBLOG
Why do we watch?
Even though the Phillies are cemented in dead last place in the NL East, die-hard Phillies fans still watch.
Because they might see something that’s never happened in the 132 years the Phillies have been members of the National league — a combined no-hitter that was authored by Cole Hamels, going six innings on Monday night, then watching the bullpen record the final nine outs of this historic game.
I was shocked that Hamels didn’t walk out for the seventh inning; true, it was 88 degrees on Labor Day in Atlanta and he was spent after throwing 108 pitches. But I harkened back when Nolan Ryan and Sandy Koufax were hurling no-hitters every year or so. Did they ever come out of a history-making game with fatigue? No, never, I don’t believe it was even a consideration. Different eras, I guess, but I was still shocked Hamels gladly gave up the ball.
The best news for the Phillies in this dreadful season is that Ken Giles and Jake Diekman (photo above) are emerging as big-time back of rotation pitchers who throw white smoke every time out. Both had flawless seventh and eighth innings before giving way to Jonathon Papelbon who closed out the no- hitter.
In a very classy gesture, Hamels dedicated the final out ball to Phillies president David Montgomery who recently took a leave of absence from the club while battling cancer And, to the Phillies credit, they have not thrown in the towel, still giving their loyal fans hard fought baseball to watch even though the season is clearly over.