Expect a good fight when rookie Cole Hamels faces Pedro Martinez and the Mets for the first time in his career.
Regardless of the outcome, tonight is a priceless step in the development of a young career. A good showing tonight by Cole Hamels (4-6, 4.97 ERA) should boost an already burgeoning confidence.
The 22-year-old left-hander, seen by some as something of a franchise savior, has allowed just five runs and 14 hits in 20 1-3 innings in his last three starts, while striking out a Carlton-like 25.
For those keeping score (I know I am), Hamels has a solid chance to supplant Brett Myers as the team’s best pitcher by the end of the season. Hamels limited Atlanta to one run over six innings last Tuesday, but took the loss in a 3-1 defeat. Meanwhile, Myers has been disappointing in his last three starts. After early success, Myers has allowed a carb-bloated 21 home runs to raise his ERA to 4.12.
If you're the Phillies, attitude, maturity, home runs and personal fitness are all worth bringing to the arbitration table when Myers' one-year deal expires after the season.
Coming of a crucial loss to the Reds, the Phillies should be tired, but hungry. Pedro (9-4, 3.42 ERA) is undefeated since coming off the disabled list. The veteran right-hander is 7-4 with a 2.91 ERA in 20 career appearances against the Phils.
Mathieson still slated for Thursday
According to the pre-game notes, Scott Mathieson will remain in the starting rotation follow the bloodletting in Saturday’s game. In doing so, Pat Gillick appears to be following the Beerleaguer decree from about a month ago: The kids stay. Is it too late for a retraction?