Philadelphia Phillies (88-62) at Florida Marlins (81-71)
Cole Hamels (10-9, 4.07) vs. Rick Vandenhurk, RHP (2-2, 4.24)
Time: 7:10 p.m. at Land Shark Stadium in Miami
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 83
Twitter: Phillies Nation
With three games in two days, the onus is on the Phillies to brave the swelter of South Florida and fight through the fatigue that comes with 150-plus games. Yesterday, in splitting a double header, they kept the Marlins at arms length.
Tonight, Cole Hamels looks to continue his upward trend moving toward the postseason. Overall, it hasn’t been the kind of year that was expected from Hamels, but lately he is changing that. He goes for win number 11 tonight, coming off of an eight inning, 10-strikeout performance against the Nats on September 17. His lifetime numbers against the Marlins do not stand out (2-5, 4.19 ERA), however, he has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his five career starts at Land Shark Stadium. This start could go a long way toward being the number one starter when the playoffs come around.
Henricus “Rick” Vandenhurk will oppose Hamels. The 6-foot-5 righty hails from the Netherlands, and is just 24 years old. In nine starts this year he’s been average, but the Phillies cannot sleep on him. He’s given up nine homers in those starts, so if the Phillies can get the longball working once again, this could be over quickly. With the game time temperature in the 80′s, along with the humidity, hopefully the Phils can wear him out with some early damage.
This evening, keep an eye on Cody Ross. The Marlins centerfielder has smashed three home runs against Hamels in his career, including the game winner on August 8th when it appeared Hamels would be victorious. Hanley Ramirez has also been a pain, hitting .310 against the lefty.
Good news today out of the bullpen as Scott Eyre has been deemed ready to pitch once again, according to Rich Dubee. J.C. Romero is getting close as well after yesterday’s 50-pitch bullpen session. He will face live hitters tomorrow in an instructional league assigment.
Your Gameday Beer – Old Milwaukee
Old Milwaukee, believe it or not, is brewed by Blue Ribbon winner Pabst’s which is based out of Illinois. Don’t worry though, it’s still an authentic mid-west macrobrew that is best served ice cold. The flavor is light, kinda grainy, kinda corny, but not too bitter – overall drinkable. Grill some flavored chicken sausages to with it. – By Brian