Cole Hamels (15-6, 3.05 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) went six innings allowing just two runs on six hits while striking out 10 Mets en route to a no decision last Wednesday. The Phillies went on to win the game 3-2 on Ryan Howard’s two out, two-run homerun in the top of the ninth. With his start tonight, Hamels will have started 30 or more games in each of the last five seasons and he needs just one more win to reach a new career high of 16 wins. Hamels sits at 202 strikeouts on the year. He is one of four NL pitchers, along with Clayton Kershaw, R.A. Dickey, and Gio Gonzalez, who have struck out 200+ batters. Hamels needs 10 more strikeouts to reach a new career high. Dating back to 2008, Hamels in 8-2 with a 2.47 ERA in 13 starts (the Phillies are 11-2 in those 13 starts).
Ross Detwiler (10-6, 3.10 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) threw six strong innings last Thursday allowing just one run on three hits to get the win against the Dodgers. The win clinched a playoff birth for the Nationals. In his last two starts against the Phillies, Detwiler is 2-0 and has held the Phillies scoreless in their last 14.1 innings. A perfect fit in Citizens Bank Park, Detwiler has a groundball percentage of 62%.
The Phillies are looking to bounce back after a disappointing weekend. The Phillies mustered just five hits in the three games against the Braves and their home record fell to .500 at 39-39. The last time the Phillies were below .500 at home was in 2000 when they were 34-47 at Veterans Stadium. As for individual numbers, there are three players to watch tonight. Jimmy Rollins needs just three runs for his sixth 100 run season. Only three players have more than six 100 run seasons: Ed Delahanty and Sam Thompson with eight seasons and Mike Schmidt with seven seasons. Chase Utley enters tonight one homerun shy of 200 for his career. Finally, much hyped September call up Darin Ruf gets his first Major League start tonight in left field. He is still looking for his first Major League hit.
The Nationals look to continue their downright dominant play this year. They have been in first place in the NL East for all but ten days of the season. They currently boast MLB’s best record by one full game over the Cincinnati Reds. With a 13-9 record in September, the Nationals are the only team in Major League Baseball to post a winning record every month of the season. The drastically improved Nationals are only the fifth team in MLB history to improve by 10 or more wins in three consecutive seasons. Next goal for Washington is to clinch the National League East division title. Their magic number to clinch the division is five games.
1. Rollins SS
2. Mayberry CF
3. Utley 2B
4. Howard 1B
5. Ruiz C
6. Brown RF
7. Ruf LF
8. Frandsen 3B
9. Hamels P
First pitch is slated for 7:05 pm and it looks to be a cool, yet beautiful, night for baseball at Citizens Bank Park. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on 94.1 WIP.
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