Cole Hamels (7-7, 4.77 ERA) vs.
Kenshin Kawakami (5-9 4.12 ERA)
Time: 4 p.m at Turner Field
Weather: Sunny, 88
Twitter: Phillies Nation
In the opening game of this three game set, the Phillies sneaked by Atlanta 3-2 thanks to the Big Man. Ryan Howard is finally heating up, as he smashed his 28th home run of the season in the top of the ninth to win it for the Phils. Chase Utley went yard in the 4th inning, plating two, which was all Joe Blanton needed. Brad Lidge shut the door in the ninth, but not before allowing two base runners.
In last night’s victory, it was all about the pitching once again. Joe Blanton continued his personal hot streak, going seven strong innings. Now, it’s up to Cole Hamels to hop aboard and do what his rotation mates have been doing – tossing solid, quality games. Hamels has 13 career starts against Atlanta, faring well for the most part. He’s 7-4 lifetime against the Bravos, including 4-2 at Turner Field. Now is the time for Hamels to bring forth a shutdown performance, something we haven’t seen in quite a while.
The opposition sends Japanese import Kenshin Kawakami to the hill. The 33-year old rookie will be starting his 22nd game of the year, with the previous 21 providing very mixed results. In his only appearance against the Phillies on May 10, he two earned over six innings, while fanning six. The guy can be very good, or very bad. Which Kawakami will show this afternoon?
As August rolls along, there are three certain things in this world. Death, Taxes, and Ryan Howard heating up. We are beginning to see the latter hold true, so hopefully he keeps mashing at Turner Field starting at 4 p.m.
Your Gameday Beer – UFO Hefeweizen
As the dogs days of summer continue to hover upon us, we’re going with smooth wheat beer for today’s afternoon game. It comes from Harpoon Brewery out of Boston and this is their Un-Filtered Offering. The sweet wheat malts help give the beer a light body and a similarly light citrus and yeast taste. It’s by far not the best Hefeweizen in the world, but it’s great for a Hotlanta afternoon. With summer beer comes summer food, so have some chicken kabobs with it. – By Brian