Cole Hamels, who is 4-0 in postseason road games and pitched to a 2.96 ERA and 9.6 K/9 away from Citizens Bank Park this season, opposes fellow 2002 first-rounder Matt Cain this afternoon.
Beerleaguer: I can’t recall believing that a game would be more about one player than this one with Hamels. Fly balls go to die in San Francisco, not that the Phils are hitting for power anyway. The Phils are hitting .221/.310/.325 in five postseason games, going yard just three times. Over their last seven games at AT&T Park, they've averaged under three runs. The Giants posted the second-best home mark in the league, with Cain holding opponents to a .591 OPS at home. Banking on the bat rack would be a mistake.
Unlike Great American Ball Park, which is like a second home to Hamels, the left-hander has had his share of ups and downs at AT&T Park. He has a 6.14 ERA there in four starts, allowing four runs in six innings in that crazy game early this season, and also a memorable seven-run meltdown in 2009. The Phils are hoping present-day success trumps past failures in San Francisco. Hamels cooked the Reds in a monstrous Game 3, going the distance to for the first time in his postseason career.
It's all about Hamels today. All things considered, I'm cool with that.