The Phillies' key is Cole Hamels

Updated: August 8, 2010, 1:23 PM ET
By Buster Olney

The Philadelphia Phillies won't get Ryan Howard back for a while, nor Shane Victorino, and they really have no idea what they'll get out of Chase Utley after he returns at the beginning of September. Brad Lidge might be a complete mystery, but manager Charlie Manuel keeps running him out there because he doesn't have better options. The Phillies have a whole lot of issues and are chasing a really good team, the Atlanta Braves, in the National League East standings.

But Manuel enters the stretch drive knowing this: Cole Hamels is throwing the ball about as well as he ever has.