Hamels' earns NLCS MVP

LOS ANGELES (AP) - October 16, 2008 He was selected series MVP for the effort.

Hamels improved to 3-0 in the postseason, allowing a run and five hits over seven innings with five strikeouts in the Philadelphia Phillies' 5-1 victory over Los Angeles in the clinching Game 5 of the best-of-seven series Wednesday night.

In the series opener, Hamels beat Derek Lowe 3-2 after giving up two runs and six hits over seven innings. The Phillies pulled ahead in that game in the sixth with a two-run homer by Chase Utley and a solo shot by Ryan Howard.

Hamels finished the NLCS with a 1.93 ERA. He struck out 13 in 14 innings.

"This is something that we worked our hearts so long. To get an award like this is something surreal," Hamels said. "This definitely has to go to the whole team right here."

The 24-year-old left-hander is the fourth Phillies player to win the award, joining second baseman Manny Trillo (1980), left fielder Gary Matthews (1983) and right-hander Curt Schilling (1993).

On Oct. 1, Hamels held Milwaukee to just two hits over eight innings and struck out nine in the division series opener at Philadelphia to beat Milwaukee 3-1. The San Diego native has given up more than two earned runs only once in his last 13 starts.

Hamels, the 17th overall pick in the 2002 draft, pitched in his first All-Star game last season. He was 14-10 in 33 starts this season with a 3.09 ERA and had 196 strikeouts in 227 1-3 innings - third among lefties in Ks behind CC Sabathia and Johan Santana. He he's given the Phillies a durable ace all year, something they lacked in the past.

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