Yesterday was not a good day in the Philadelphia Sports world. Both of the Eagles and the Phillies sprinted out to early leads in South Philly but both ended up losing in the end. The Phillies played the night cap in the double header and they were able to give Cliff Lee a 4-0 lead after 2 innings.But they only collected 1 hit after the 2nd inning as the shaky Cards pen shut them out for 6 innings. Now instead of going to St. Louis with a 2-0 lead, they find themselves in a 3 game series with 2 of those games being played on the road. Cardinal’s left fielder and cleanup hitter has missed the 1st two games due to a hand injury and it looks as though his contributions to this series may be just as a pinch hitter.
Tuesday October 4, 5:07: LHP Cole Hamels vs. LHP Jaime Garcia
Cole hasn’t started a game since September 24th but he did pitch in relief in the final game of the regular season. His regular season numbers don’t look as good because he missed a few starts with an injury. Hamels only collected 2 wins in the final 2 months of the season. Despite the missed the time, he still had a very good year, he went 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. He has better numbers while pitching at home this season but his road numbers are far from bad. In 17 games (16 starts) he is 7-3 with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP.
Tomorrow night’s appearance will be his 13th post season start, he is 6-4 with a 3.33 ERA in those games. Cole has been a very good postseason pitcher but he has pitched the best during the division round. In his 4 starts during the NLDS, he is just 2-2 but has a 2.20 ERA. Last season he threw a complete game shutout in Cincinnati to finish off the Reds.
Cole faced the Cardinals when they were in town a few weeks ago. He allowed 4 runs and 7 hits in his 7 innings of work. It’s hard to put much stock into this game as it was the day after the team clinched the division. That was Hamels only start against the Red Birds this year. Cole has made 9 starts against the Cardinals during his career, in those games he is 2-3 with a 3.27 ERA. In 5 starts at Busch Stadium he is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA. Over the last 5 seasons, Cardinals hitters are 26-98 (.265) while facing Hamels. Their 1-2-3 hitters in game 2 (Furcal, Craig and Pujols) are just 4-30 (.133) off of him during that time.
The Cardinals and Tony La Russa gambled by holding their young lefty off until the series returned back to St. Louis. They claimed that Garcia pitched a lot better at home and didn’t want the young pitcher to pitch in Philadelphia. This season Garcia was 13-7 with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. He was 9-4 with a 2.55 ERA at home compared to 4-3 with a 4.61 ERA on the road. Tomorrow nights start will be the 25 year olds first postseason start.
Garcia started in the series the team played in mid September. He started the Friday night game, which was the night before the Phillies clinched the division. He went 7 innings and only gave up 1 run on 5 hits. Garcia received a no decision as the Cards eventually beat the Phils in extras. He has been great against the Phillies during his young career. In 6 games (4 starts) he is 2-1 with a 1.20 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. Over the last 5 seasons, Phillies hitters are 6-37 (.162) while facing Hamels. Ibanez is 1-2 lifetime versus Garcia, so it will be interesting to see if Charlie sits him for the right handed Mayberry.
Prediction: Phillies 3 Cardinals 2