Originally posted on Phillies Nation  |  Last updated 4/28/13
Howard came up big in the clutch in a 5-1 Phils win to cap the sweep. Photo: Seth Wenig, AP On a day where Cole Hamels struggled with control, issuing six free passes, Hamels kept his composure to pick up his first win of 2013 in a 5-1 Phillies win. Hamels allowed only two hits to limit the damage of his free passes on a day where the Mets struck early on a David Wright RBI single in the first. THE BATS, THEY ARE AWAKE A day after the Phils posted a season-high nine runs, the Phillies scored five runs on nine hits and fell victim to the strike out only three times. Freddy Galvis had his first hit as a righty this year, knotting the game at one-all with a homer to lead off the fifth. The Phils did not ground into a double play and were a respectable 2-7 with RISP, including Ryan Howard‘s huge seventh inning, pinch-hit, two-out double that netted a pair of RBI and Chase Utley‘s RBI single immediately following Howard’s opposite field triumph. This, from a fundamental point of view, was easily the Phillies best team game as hitters, doing the little things at every bend. The Phillies outscored the Mets 18-5 in the series in what is a very positive development. While Howard did not start today, the Big Piece is heating up: in his last 10 games, including today’s pinch-hit double, Howard is hitting .363/.342 (not a typo)/.722. If Howard starts to roll with a hot Michael Young (1-3 again today) and Chase Utley being Chase Utley, this team will be dangerous. The Big Piece is now hitting .286 overall and the big Spring Training is looking more and more like what we’ll see from him this year. CHOOCH IS BACK Carlos Ruiz returned today and hit a sixth inning ground-rule double for his only hit in 3 ABs. He paired with Hamels on eight Ks. Chooch is a clear upgrade over Kratz offensively and defensively – what a bat to add to the line-up! THIS IS THE BULLPEN YOU WANT TO SEE This game was a blast to watch and one of the reasons was because the bullpen acted like they had been here before. Antonio Bastardo threw a scoreless seventh to lower his ERA to 0.96 while Mike Adams and Jonathan Papelbon followed with perfect eighth and ninth innings respectively to cap off a 5-1 win. The Phillies travel to Cleveland tonight and have tomorrow off. The Fightins kick off a two game getaway series against the Indians on Tuesday with Roy Halladay on the hill.  
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