Cole Hamels will take the ball tonight for your Philadelphia Phillies for the first time this season as Ryne Sandberg's club looks to take the series from the Dodgers while playing within a Matt Stairs-moonshot-distance of the famous "Hollywood" sign up in the hills.
There a couple of mixed trends for Hamels season debut against the Dodgers tonight. Cole has been pretty awful in his first starts of the season, but he's had great career numbers against the Dodgers.
From the game notes:
Over the last five years, however, Hamels’ first start of the season has not been kind to him ... Since 2009, he is 1-4 with a 9.55 ERA (23 ER, 21.2 IP) in his season debuts and has not lasted longer than 5.1 innings in any of those starts ... But on the bright side, Hamels has thrived against the Dodgers in his career ... In 11 starts (including the postseason), he is 6-1 with a 2.41 ERA (20 ER, 74.2 IP) against the Boys in Blue, including a 3-0 record and 2.22 ERA (7 ER, 28.1 IP) in four starts at Dodger Stadium.
Sandberg is once again looking for solid defense behind Cole and will have the impressive Freddy Galvis at third base instead of Cody Asche who is still trying to find his way out of an early-season slump. Phillies beat writer Matt Gelb points out that this is the 6th time in 11 games that Asche starts the game on the pine.
The lineup will have their hands full with righty Zack Greinke who is 3-0 this season with a 2.42 ERA. Tony Gwynn Jr. has four hits off Greinke (1 HR) in six plate appearances so I'm surprised he's not in the lineup again. Chase Utley and Ben Revere have hit Greinke relatively well but the rest of the lineup not so much.
Another 10:10 pm EST start time for the Fightins. I've been able to stay up the past two nights to watch the complete games but it has not been easy. Hoping Hamels can make quick work of the Dodgers and really give this team some serious momentum.