Philly Sports Live

Aces Wild in Labor Day Classic

Cole Hamels and Stephen Strasburg faced off on Monday night in the division series opener at Citizens Bank Park this Labor Day. Those in attendance were treated to a pitching clinic as both pitchers performed as advertised in a classic pitcher’s duel.

The only blemish on the night for Hamels was a solo home run allowed in the top of the first inning to Nats third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to make it 1-0. He would allow just one more hit from there, struck out eight and walked no batters in seven strong innings of work.

Strasburg matched Hamels almost pound for pound, allowing just two hits of his own in six innings of work.

He allowed an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth inning when an attempted pickoff throwing error by catcher Wilson Ramos allowed Jimmy Rollins to advance to second base after walking to start the inning. Carlos Ruiz singled Rollins home to tie the game at 1-1.

Strasburg finished with 10 strikeouts on the night to two walks in six innings pitched.

With both starters out of the game, the Nationals took the lead in the top of the eighth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Scott Hairston sent a fly ball to shallow center field where Cesar Hernandez got the start. Anthony Rendon would score from third on the sacrifice fly, as Hernandez’s throw was up the third baseline to Ruiz.

Not to be outdone, the Phillies showed more of that Ryne Sandberg resiliency with a two out run in the eighth inning to tie the game 2-2. Hernandez reached with a one out walk. Then with two outs, Rollins smoked a ball off the wall in right field for an RBI double.

After an intentional walk to Chase Utley, Ruiz came up big again with a two out single. Rollins sped around third and slid away from the Ramos tag to score the what would be the winning run.

Jonathan Papelbon navigated through a rocky ninth inning to pick up the save and preserve the win for the Phils.

They’re back at it tomorrow night against the Nats, with Ethan Martin getting the call for the Phils, He’ll be opposed by Gio Gonzalez for Washington.

Stats Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of