Game 125: Hey, this could be fun

(Evan Vucci/AP file photo)

There is a certain lack of anticipation for Phillies baseball on most nights because reality dictates it. Then, even when the season is rendered irrelevant, there are still nights like Thursday:

Cueto vs. Hamels.

It's a matchup of two of the best pitchers in the National League. Johnny Cueto leads everyone with 16 wins and a 2.44 ERA. Hamels has a 2.94 ERA with 168 strikeouts in 171 1/3 innings. He is seeking his 15th win, which would tie a career high.

Both figure to finish high in Cy Young balloting. Cueto is currently viewed as the favorite.

Charlie Manuel's lineup includes no one from the starting nine on opening day:

1. Juan Pierre 7
2. Kevin Frandsen 5
3. Chase Utley 4
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Domonic Brown 9
6. Laynce Nix 8
7. Erik Kratz 2
8. Michael Martinez 6
9. Cole Hamels 1

Jimmy Rollins, apparently, has a day off. He is 3 for 15 lifetime against Cueto with three doubles.

Dusty Baker will finally appease a hungry Philadelphia crowd by starting Wilson Valdez:

1. Zack Cozart 6
2. Drew Stubbs 8
3. Jay Bruce 9
4. Ryan Ludwick 7
5. Todd Frazier 5
6. Miguel Cairo 3
7. Wilson Valdez 4
8. Ryan Hanigan 2
9. Johnny Cueto 1

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