Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox watches from the dugout as they play the St. Louis Cardinals in the ninth inning of their National League MLB baseball game in Atlanta, Georgia, September 12, 2010. REUTERS/Tami Chappell (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)
Cole Hamels is looking to win his 12th game of the year tonight in Philly against the Braves. He has reeled off 4 wins in a row in his last 4 starts. Tonight will be his 31st start of the season for the Phillies. Cole has 201 strikeouts and his ERA is at 3.01 on the season. The Phillies have had a hard time scoring runs for a lot of Cole's starts this year. In 14 of his 30 starts, the Phillies have scored 0-2 runs while he has been on the mound.
The Phillies rotation was altered so the 'H2O' combination will take on the Braves for this series. Hamels, Halladay, and Oswalt are ready to unleash their best pitching on the Braves, who are looking to climb back up where the Phillies are now. The Braves stumbled in August and the Phillies were right there and started playing their best baseball of the season since September 1st and are 3 games up on the Braves heading into this important series. The Phillies also close out the regular season against the Braves in Atlanta this year, so they will face the Braves a total of 6 times before the season is over.
The Braves are still in the hunt for the playoffs, they lead the wild card race now 2.5 games up on the San Diego Padres, who have been imploding the last few weeks. The Braves won't go away quietly even if the Phillies end up winning the division, the Braves look poised to gain a spot in the playoffs. It's a place the Braves haven't been for many years now. The Braves were last in the playoffs in 2005, when the lost to the Astros in the Division Series. 2005 ended a ten year run for the Braves in the playoffs, starting in 1995, the Braves won the World Series and they made the playoffs and two more World Series in the 10 year period from '95 to '05.
Bobby Cox, manager of the Braves, is said to be set for retirement at the end of the season. The Braves would like to send him out a winner. He took over the Braves near the end of the 1990 season, and has been one of the greatest, if not the greatest, manager that the Atlanta Braves have ever had. Cox is a living legend in Atlanta and in baseball.
It's all set to begin tonight at 7:05 PM, the Phillies attempt to defend their 4th Division title in a row, but the Braves are standing in the wings wanting to dethrone the Phillies this year and take the title for themselves.
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