After last night's 7-2 final in Flushing Meadows, the Phillies have put themselves in position to claim their seventh straight series victory with a win today. And, considering the pitching match up, the odds don't look half bad, as Cole Hamels squares off against Jon Niese.
The left-handed Niese enters today's game with an 8-7 record and 3.88 ERA. Despite starting 18 games this season, his last outing was as a reliever on July 10th against the San Francisco Giants. Niese surrendered two runs on two hits in just one-third of an inning in his only relief appearance of the season. And, though he pitched well against the Phils in first three seasons in the majors (3 GP, 1-1 W-L, 2.14 ERA, 21.0 IP), 2011 has not been so kind (3 GP, 1-2 W-L, 4.32 ERA, 16.2 IP).
For the Phillies, All-Star Cole Hamels sports the second lowest ERA (2.32) and the only WHIP below 1.00 (0.93) amongst starting pitchers in the National League. As if that isn't killer enough, check out this gem from MLB.com's Quinn Roberts:
"[Hamels has] allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his last nine starts, and over his last two outings, the Phillies have scored 28 runs."
Charlie's lineup for the day is as follows: Rollins SS, Mayberry CF, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Francisco RF, Ibanez LF, Ruiz C, Valdez 3B, Hamels P.
First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. and can be seen on Fox. Though we have no knowledge of whether or not this is true, bflo360.blogspot.com claims Kenny Albert and Mark Grace appear probable in the announce booth. See you, post-game.