That's an endorsement for Hamels to be ready when his next turn comes Sunday in Seattle at Safeco Field. He said he was to see a chiropractor Wednesday for treatment. Before Game 1 of the Phillies' doubleheader on Wednesday, Hamels played catch in the outfield.
A younger Hamels had back problems in 2005, his final full season in the minors. A herniated disk sidelined Hamels for half of the year, but the pitcher said this stiffness hardly resembles that situation.
Hamels has been one of baseball's best pitchers this season. His 2.49 ERA ranks sixth in the majors. Take away his first start, when he allowed six runs in 22/3 innings to the New York Mets, and Hamels has a 1.99 ERA in 13 starts. That would rank first in the majors.
The swing that morphed Game 1 into an 8-1 rout of the Marlins was courtesy of Wilson Valdez, who subbed for Placido Polanco at third base.
In the third inning, Valdez cleared the bases with a triple into the left-center gap. The three RBIs were his first since May 18, meaning Valdez had more pitching wins (one) than RBIs (zero) in the previous 28 days.
The 33-year-old utility man also singled twice. The three RBIs tied a season high.
Kendrick relieves 'pen
One of the by-products of Kyle Kendrick's seven-inning outing in Game 1 was no strain put on the bullpen. It's not as if the relievers have been overused recently, but with four games in 48 hours, followed by a cross-country flight and three more games before the next off day, any reduction of stress is appreciated.
"Absolutely tremendous," Manuel said. "That's a big plus. He pitched a heck of a game. With Roy [Halladay] in the second game, we had a fresh back of the bullpen. For him to go seven innings is very good."
Kendrick's seven innings represented his longest outing since July 24, 2010, against Colorado. When pitching six or more innings, Kendrick is 29-6 with a 2.72 ERA in his career.
Brad Lidge (torn rotator cuff) played catch for the first time since receiving a cortisone shot last week. There is no timetable for him to begin throwing off a mound again and then resuming his rehab program in Clearwater, Fla. It's highly unlikely that Lidge will be ready before the all-star break. . . . Domonic Brown on Tuesday became only the second Phillies rookie since 1999 to record more than one home run in a game. Pat Burrell had two such games in 2000. . . . The Phillies will face Javier Vazquez on Thursday for the third time this season. In 91/3 innings, the righthander has allowed nine runs (eight earned) against the Phils. . . . The Phillies equaled a full season's worth of consecutive sellouts in Game 2 with the 162d straight full house. . . . The team raised $893,033 for ALS research in Monday's annual Phillies Phestival.
Contact staff writer Matt Gelb
at firstname.lastname@example.org or @magelb on Twitter.