Just in from the ballpark: Cole Hamels will start Sunday night for the Phillies against the Mets.
The Phillies are off tomorrow and open a three-game series at Shea Stadium against the Mets on Friday night. With the off day, Hamels will be able to stay on his regular rest.
Kyle Kendrick, whose turn in the rotation Hamels will take, is expected to be available to pitch in relief Friday night. Kendrick said he wasn't sure when he would get another start.
Obviously, this was a no brainer for the Phillies. They'll be facing Mets ace Johan Santana for the fifth time this season. Hamels, meanwhile, had only faced the Mets once. He hasn't been taxed in his past couple of outings, and he'll be starting on normal rest.
One interesting note: Hamels numbers on longer rest are actually worse than they are on four days.
Four days: 22-10, 3.19 ERA
Five days: 11-8, 3.65 ERA
Six days: 3-3, 3.86 ERA
Here is what they had to say:
Cole Hamels: "That's the way I was in high school because you only have two pitchers and one is your main guy and that is who I was. You're the main guy when it is the playoffs, when it's the championship, when it's the big division rivalry and that is what I want to be in. That's what I've been able to learn. It's finally that time to step up to the plate and I definitely know I'm ready for it."
Rich Dubee: "When I told him, I said, ‘Hey, we’re looking at pitching you Sunday. Are you ready to go? He said, “I’m all set.’ There wasn’t any reservations."
Kyle Kendrick: "I understand we’ve got 20 something games left. We’ve got an extra day off and Cole’s been pitching awesome, so why not? It’s against the Mets, too, so I understand it totally. . .I want to pitch. Every fifth day I want to start. . .But like I said I’ll be ready to go. Just get my mind right and get back on the track. I’ve just got to deal with it. I’m going to have my lumps. Hopefully not for too long and just get back on and pitch like I can, pitch like I should."
This will be the first time all season Hamels has made four straight starts on his regular rest. The Phillies have tried to get him as much rest as possible all season after he was beset by injuries in his first year and a half in the big leagues. He has pitched a league and career high 205 innings this season.
Hamels said he wasn't trying to give the impression last night that he was hesitant about starting on Sunday. Rather, he did not want to overshadow the Phillies' win over the Nationals.