Injury Update: Jose Contreras has been placed on the 15-day DL with what the team is calling a strain of his right elbow. He is scheduled for an MRI. Michael Schwimer has been recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Contreras’s spot on the 25-man roster.
The last week and change has been perhaps the most tumultuous stretch of the season for the Phillies thus far. First, they lost Roy Halladay, while Carlos Ruiz missed a few games with tightness in his right hamstring. Then, Shane Victorino sat out last night’s game after receiving a cortisone shot for soreness in his hand. And, of course, there was last night’s injury to Jose Contreras, who looks like he could miss a good chunk of time with an elbow issue after showing signs of getting it together. The injuries keep piling up for a team that already has a bloated DL. But, through all the adversity the last week has presented, the Phils have rounded into form and seem to be playing their best baseball of the season. After defeating the Fish in the series opener, the Phils are 7-3 over their last ten games, and within 2.5 games of the first-place Nationals.
Cole Hamels will look to keep the momentum going today when he takes the mound. At this point, there are no more superlatives to describe just how dominant Hamels has been this season. He’s elite. You know it, I know it, and everyone in baseball knows it. He’s been good against the Marlins, though his 3.51 career ERA against them is slightly worse than his career average (3.34). Since 2010, however, he’s posted a 2.25 ERA against the Marlins in eight starts. During that span, his ERA drops to 2.10 in five starts against the Marlins in Philadelphia.
The man with the unfortunate task of having to oppose Hamels is right-hander, Ricky Nolasco. If there is any Marlins pitcher up to the task of ending Hamels’s eight-game winning streak, though, it’s Nolasco. He’s a guy the Phillies have seen a lot of over the years, but they still haven’t figured him out, as his 2.10 ERA in fifteen games against them indicates. On top of that, Nolasco’s gotten off to a good start in 2012, by his standards, and Phillies hitters are batting a combined .216 against him in 185 at-bats.
Look for this one to fly by, as it has all the makings of a low-scoring pitcher’s duel.
Lineup: Rollins SS, Pierre LF, Pence RF, Ruiz C, Victorino CF, Wigginton 1B, Polanco 3B, Galvis 2B, Hamels P
GAMEDAY BEER: Humboldt Brown
I was skeptical when this all natural ale brewed with hemp was offered to me last week. But I gave it a shot, and ended up quite pleased with the results. Brewed in the mountains of Southern California, this brown ale has a nutty flavor with a tinge of malt and a slight sweetness. It is pretty thick for an ale, which I always find preferable. The only downside here is that it’s impossible to drink without feeling like a total hippie. Once the inhibitions about appearance subside, though, it’s a very enjoyable brew. If you really want to embrace your inner hippie, you can have it with some vegan-style veggie burgers. I’ll stick with the beef ones though. -By Ryan