Seeking his first win in nine tries, Cole Hamels (7-10, 3.47) has the ball in his hometown this afternoon against lefty Clayton Richard (12-5, 3.55) and the Padres. First pitch is 4:10 ET.
Hamels: Hamels’ telltale 7-10 mark defines this season as well as any statistic. His annoying, unsupportive offense has bled out just 12 runs over his last eight starts, leaving the ace left-hander with three losses and five no-decisions over that stretch. The Phils can’t possibly ask for anything more from Hamels, whose 170 strikeouts ranks fifth in the league. Opposing lefties are batting just .175 against him.
Blanton: Fortunately, three hits, a pair of Shane Victorino RBIs and a run on a fielder’s choice was more than enough in the Phillies’ 3-1 win on Saturday afternoon. That allowed second-half revelation Joe Blanton to even his record to 6-6. Blanton’s 3.41 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break has arguably been the Phillies’ best storyline over the last week if you had to pick one. Jose Contreras, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge combined for three perfect relief innings; aside from Lidge’s debacle the other night, the bullpen has also gelled lately.
Offense: In the meantime, it’s been a whole lot of nothing for the Phillies’ offense. Collectively, they’re hitting just .199/.278/.284 over their last 10 games.
Standings: The Phillies trail Atlanta by two games in the division and lead the Wild Card by 1.5. Derek Lowe and the Braves take on Josh Johnson and the Marlins today in Atlanta. Matt Cain and the Giants host Rodrigo Lopez and the Diamondbacks at 4:10 ET.[Jump to the newest comments]