By Seth Everett

Last night the Phillies played a tight 3-2 win over the Reds. It was the start of the 33 games in 31 days to end the season. Overshadowing the Victorino HR and the Madson save was the performance of Cole Hamels.

Starting for the first time in three weeks due to shoulder tightness, Hamels was strong, going 6 innings giving up 1 run and walking NO ONE. I would suggest that his health was far more important than anything that went on during those 9 innings.

I never thought Hamels’ injury was more serious than it was. But I do bring up the “Boy who Cried Wolf,” because in the case of Joe Blanton & Roy Oswalt, the injuries were not deemed to be serious until after they were shut down.

Cole Hamels is having what can be described as a “Cy Young” type season. I’m not sure he will win the award, but he is a bonafide ace of a staff that has a more than a few aces.

Actually, the Phillies need 3 “aces” just to compete in the NL Playoffs. The Brewers have 3 (Greinke, Gallardo, Marcum/Wolf), and so do the Braves (Jurrgens, Hudson, Beachy/Lowe), and the Phillies need those starters to match whomever they get paired up against.

Is Cole 100% back? It looks like there is cause for optimism. Clearly, the Phillies will be cautious with him. As long as he looks comfortable, the Phillies have the horses to contend for a National League pennant, and ultimately a World Series title.

I’ll be on Sportsradio 610 WIP Tuesday at 3:40 p.m. with Howard Eskin & Ike Reese, as Howard wraps up his illustrious career. Reach me on Twitter @seth_everett, and please “Like” my new Facebook page—you can find it by searching “Seth Everett.”

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