The lasting image from the Phillies’ 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday afternoon will probably be Evan Gattis’ cannon-shot home run over everything in center field in the second inning. The ball came down an estimated 484 feet from home plate making it the longest home run in Citizens Bank Park’s 10-year history. Gattis a burly catcher/outfielder who earned the nickname Oso Blanco -- the White Bear -- during winter ball in Venezuela actually hit two home runs Sunday. They were the only hits that the Braves had and both came against Cole Hamels. The 484-foot blast came with the wind blowing in. It spawned such quotes as this: Hamels: “I felt like I was throwing a golf ball and he had a driver.” Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg: “A tornado might have been blowing and that first one might have gone out. That was dead into the teeth.” Gattis downplayed the mammoth home run because the Braves lost the game. He had a point. Because as exciting as it was to see Gattis send a ball onto Ashburn Alley it was really just a footnote to the afternoon. Hamels was the story. So was Darin Ruf. And B.J. Rosenberg wasn’t bad either. Hamels delivered eight innings of two-hit two-run ball. He appeared to be on his way to a no-decision after allowing Gattis’ second homer of the day a game-tying shot in the seventh when Ruf put him in the winner’s circle with a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth. Closer Jonathan Papelbon got the day off because of his recent heavy workload. The save opportunity went to Rosenberg and he delivered on nine strikes. It was his first big-league save. In a few weeks the Phillies will pack up and head home with their first losing season since 2002. The Braves will roll into the playoffs as NL East champs. But on this weekend the Phils were the better team. They swept the Braves and held them to just 12 hits in the series. Cliff Lee Kyle Kendrick and Hamels the Phils’ three starting pitchers combined to allow just eight hits and six runs in 22 innings.
Hamels, Phils overcome Gattis to sweep Braves
Courier-Post | Sep 8