Cole Hamels got a big win earlier in the week. He was supported by a 22-1 barrage over the Cincy Reds. He needs another show of support tonight as the Phillies look to increase their lead in the NL East with their game tonight and tomorrow before the All Star Break.
Cole needs to start winning every start, he’s the Philles ace and he’s not showing that in his record yet this year which has seen him at 5-5 so far. Hamels really hasn’t been all that bad, but early on some sparse run support has left him with a lot of no decisions and that’s not a good thing.
This is the first year of Cole Hamels contract that has seen him make the jump from $500,000 for last year’s salary to $4.3 million for this season. He signed a three year deal on Jan 18th 2009. Hamels could be the ace of the Phillies for years to come if he remains consistent as he has been early in his career. The fact that he is a World Series MVP doesn’t hurt either.
This game could be just what Cole needs to boost him up for this season. The advantage is in his corner tonight as he faces a Pittsburgh Pirates team that is 38-48 and again in last place over in the NL Central. The Pirates don’t deserve to be in the NL Central, they should throw the Marlins or the Nats into that division to give them more of a chance. Tonight though the only thing that matters is Cole getting another win!
The Phillies have only been facing the Pirates in 6 games per season and the cross state rivalry could increase with a change in the division that the Pirates are in.
Cole's Hitter List click for a list of hitters who have hit Cole’s pitching, he may want to review this list. Batters must have had a minimum of 20 AB’s against him.
Cole Hamels vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates
Adam LaRoche and Freddy Sanchez has faced Hamels before with some success but the remainder of the team has never faced Cole Hamels until tonight.
Pirate Notes from their Press Game Notes:
Last 10 games : 3-7
Last 5 games: 1-4
Wins in final at bat: 7
Series sweeps: 2
Being swept in series: 5
Starter Russ Ohlendorf’s first start against the Phillies in his career tonight