Well, thank the lord that at long last, the Philadelphia Phillies' losing streak is over. After dropping the first game in their interleague series against the Seattle Mariners, the Fightins battled back last night and reversed their fortunes against one of the best pitchers in baseball, knocking Felix Hernandez around to the tune of three runs in seven innings (which is about as much as anyone knocks around Felix Hernandez, I suppose), while Vance Worley and the bullpen did what they needed to do to keep a subpar Seattle offense in check. Now Cole Hamels takes the hill with a chance to win the series and fully represent, not just for the city of Philadelphia, but for the entire National League. (Hey, if we don't, who will?)
Opposing the Phillies today will be...a Mariners pitcher who is not Michael Piñeda or Felix Hernandez. It doesn't terribly matter which after those two, but technically speaking, this dude's name is Justin Vargas, a lefty with a 4-4 record and a 4.13 ERA. Vargas has a career 9.45 ERA in three games against Philly, which is a good thing, but considering that the last time he faced Philly (in 2006 with the Marlins) we still had Mike Lieberthal, David Bell and Abraham Nuñez on the roster, perhaps not a terribly meaningful statistic. More interesting are the recent stats of our guy cole, who at 9-2 has the chance to become the majors' first ten-game winner this year, sticking it to teammate and fellow nine-game-winner Roy Halladay. Plus, if he gets 18 strikeouts today, he can overtake Doc for the league lead in K's as well, Dream big, Cole.
4:10 first pitch from Safeco Field. “It was a good game," said Uncle Cholly about the team's W last night. "We beat a good pitcher. That definitely builds confidence, an aura, laughter. There’s a good feeling.” We like all those things. More for Fathers' Day, I say.