Dan Baker paused for drama. The public address announcer did not speak until the cheers for a Cole Hamels strikeout subsided. Finally, he bellowed those three words.

Rightfielder Jayson Werth!

A thinned crowd at Citizens Bank Park hung on every pitch Tuesday in the critical moment of a 4-2 Phillies win over Washington. "The fans," Hamels said later, "that was something we hadn't seen all year." The bases were loaded in the eighth inning of the fifth game in this season-defining 10-game stay at home.

They battled for six pitches, the two former teammates, and it was epic. Hamels threw the seventh, a 94-m.p.h. fastball, and Werth crushed it. The fans did not rise from their seats because they had stood the instant Werth's name was uttered. Werth jogged and watched. Hamels twisted and stared.

Ben Revere knew. He dashed toward the 398-foot mark in center field. Werth realized it, too. He flicked his black bat halfway up the first-base line. The ball landed in Revere's glove, a long 24th out for Hamels on his 110th pitch.

"That's what baseball is all about," Charlie Manuel said.

The manager is determined to make Ruben Amaro Jr.'s job more complex by the day. The general manager gathered his lieutenants for an organizational meeting Tuesday afternoon upstairs at Citizens Bank Park. The trade deadline arrives in 21 days. Downstairs, in the Phillies dugout, Manuel pleaded for more time. "I don't ever think of selling," the 69-year-old manager said. "I think of winning." The Phillies trail Washington by 11/2 games for second place. They have won four of five on this crucial homestand and six of their last eight overall. This is a team playing its best baseball at a time when the rest of the league is lurking to pick pieces from the carcass. The Phillies are not yet dead.