It's Cole Hamels after all.
The Phillies announced this afternoon at Nationals Park that Hamels will start Sunday against the New York Mets (and Johan Santana) at Shea Stadium instead of Kyle Kendrick, who will be available out of the bullpen this weekend.
"I understood the situation," Hamels said. "I think this is a time that really matters. I know my body can handle it. Every five days. That's what I've been able to do all year."
Sunday will be Hamels' third consecutive starts on normal rest. It will be just the second time he has done that this season. He previously made three consecutive starts on four days rest from July 3 to 13. He went 1-1 with a 1.99 ERA. He has started on normal rest 16 times this season and has a 2.47 ERA in those starts. He has started on five or more days rest 12 times and has a 3.95 ERA in those starts.
Hamels said he likes the idea of being the staff's horse.
"Of course," he said. "That's the way I was in high school. You only have two pitchers and one is your main guy, and that's what I was. You're the main guy when it's the playoffs, when it's the championship, when it's the big division rivalry. That's what I want. I think that's what I've been able to learn. I think it's finally that time to step up to the plate. I definitely know I'm ready for it, and that's what I'm going to do."