Cole Hamels feels your pain, rips the day start

Chase Utley takes batting practice before the Phillies' NLDS opener against the Rockies. (Steven M. Falk / Staff Photographer)

A lot has been made over the past few days about the defending World Champions getting saddled with a couple of day starts. I was at the Pour House in East Falls last night where owner and all-around good guy George Flacco estimated the day starts would cost him several thousand dollars in business. In this economy, how many people can afford to call out of work to watch or attend a baseball game?

Well, Cole Hamels feels your pain.

"From the game perspective, you can't let it affect you, because you can't use it as a an excuse," Hamels said. "We have to go out there, we have to play the game, and we have to try to win. But in being the defending world champs, I think it's kind of a little weird that we kind of get both games at 2 o'clock. I don't think it's fair. I defenitely don't think it's fair for the fans, because this is all about the home-field advantage or just baseball in general.

"I understand TV ratings, but I think at the end of the day, most players would rather play when they're most comfortable, and that's kind of what we've trained at, either 1 o'clock or 7 o'clock, and I think that's more fair for us than really the TV ratings, because truly, I don't think we mind as much for TV ratings."

Hamels, who will start tomorrow against Aaron Cook in Game 2, has a particular reason to be perturbed: In his career, he is 10-13 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.395 WHIP in 37 day games compared to 38-21 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.089 WHIP in 79 night games.


No surprises in today's line-up:

  1. Jimmy Rollins SS
  2. Shane Victorino CF
  3. Chase Utley 2B
  4. Ryan Howard 1B
  5. Jayson Werth RF
  6. Raul Ibanez LF
  7. Pedro Feliz 3B
  8. Carlos Ruiz C
  9. Cliff Lee LHP


A quick break-down of today's opposing starter, righthander Ubaldo Jimenez:

This season, righties are hitting .206 against him, while lefties are hitting .251.

Jimenez is 7-7 with a 3.58 ERA on the road, compared with 8-5 and a 3.34 ERA at home.

In September and October, Jimenez was 3-2 with a 4.17 ERA in six starts.

Batters are hitting just .200 against Jimenez with runners in scoring position.

The Phillies last faced Jimenez on May 27, 2008, scoring seven runs against him in four innings. They also faced him in the NLDS in 2007, when he allowed one run on three hits in 6 1./3 innings.

Pedro Feliz is 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and three RBI off Jimenez.

Ryan Howard is 2-for-5 with a home run.

Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Shane Victorino are a combined 7-for-16 off Jimenez.


Here is a look at how Phillies hitters have stacked up against Colorado's reliever. Greg Dobbs, Matt Stairs and Raul Ibanez have all had considerable success against the Rockies' bullpen:

LHP Joe Beimel
Jimmy Rollins: 3/14, 2 XBH
Shane Victorino: 3/8, 1 XBH, 1 SO
Chase Utley: 2/12, 1 XBH, 3 SO
Ryan Howard: 3/10, 3 XBH, HR, 2 SO, 3 BB
Jayson Werth: 0/5, SO
Raul Ibanez: 1/2, BB, SO
Pedro Feliz: 5/19, 2 HR, 4 XBH, 2 BB, 2 SO
Carlos Ruiz: DNF
Greg Dobbs: DNF
Matt Stairs: 1/4
Ben Francisco: 0/2, SO
Miguel Cairo: 1/4
Paul Bako: 1/4, SO

RHP Jason Marquis

Rollins: 4/34, 4 BB, 5 SO
Victorino: 0/2, BB
Utley: 8/18, XBH, 1 SO
Howard: 2/10, 5 BB, 1 SO
Werth: 6/9, 2 HR, 4 XBH
Ibanez: 1/6, 1 XBH
Feliz: 2/15, 1 XBH, 1 SO
Ruiz: 0/2
Dobbs: 1/5
Stairs: 3/5, 2 BB
Francisco: DNF
Cairo: DNF
Bako: 2/11, XBH, 1 BB, 3 SO

RHP Huston Street
Rollins: 0/2
Victorino: 0/1
Utley: DNF
Howard: DNF
Werth: 0/1, SO
Ibanez: 4/16, 3 SO, 1 XBH, 1 BB
Feliz: 2/4, 1 XBH
Ruiz: DNF
Dobbs: 2/3, 1 XBH, 4 RBI
Stairs: 4/8, 2 HR, 2 HR
Francisco: DNF
Cairo: 0/1

RHP Rafael Betancourt
Rollins: 0/1
Victorino: 0/1, SO
Utley: DNF
Howard: DNF
Werth: 0/1
Ibanez: 4/10, XBH, 2 SO
Feliz: DNF
Ruiz: DNF
Dobbs: 0/1
Stairs: 3/9, 2 SO
Francisco: DNF
Cairo: 2/3

RHP Jose Contreras

Rollins: 1/3, 1 XBH
Utley: 2/2, HR, BB
Howard: 0/2, SO
Werth: 1/2, BB
Ibanez: 8/14, HR, 2 BB, 1 SO
Feliz: DNF
Ruiz: DNF
Dobbs: 3/5, 4 RBI
Stairs: 5/18, 2 XBH, 4 SO, 4 BB
Francisco: 2/11, 4 SO
Cairo: 1/6
Bako: 1/11, 4 SO

RHP Matt Daley
Rollins: DNF
Victorino: DNF
Utley: DNF
Howard: DNF
Werth: 0/1, SO
Ibanez: 0/1, SO
Feliz: 0/1
Ruiz: DNF
Dobbs: DNF
Stairs: DNF
Francisco: DNF
Cairo: 1/6

LHP Franklin Morales
Rollins: DNF
Victorino: 0/1
Utley: 0/3
Howard: 0-3, 2 SO
Werth: 1/2
Ibanez: DNF
Feliz: 0/2, SO, BB
Ruiz: 0/2
Dobbs: DNF
Stairs: DNF
Francisco: DNF
Cairo: DNF
Bako: 0/1

RHP Matt Belisle

Rollins: 3/6, XBH
Victorino: 2/6
Utley: 4/6, 2 HR, 4 XBH, 1 SO, 5 RBI
Howard: 0/3, 3 SO, 2 BB
Werth: 1/1, HR
Ibanez: 0/1
Feliz: 0/5, SO
Ruiz: 2/4, XBH
Dobbs: 1/6, XBH, 3 RBI
Stairs: 0/1
Francisco: DNF
Cairo: 0/1
Bako: 0/1


A scene from my walk into the ballpark this morning that should tell you all you need to know about how hard the wind is blowing here: In the distance, a gentleman has a baseball cap pulled low over his face when suddenly a gust not only blows it off of his head, but sends it airborne skimming across the ground where, 50 yards away, a good samaritan fields it like a ground ball. The wind isn't just blowing hard - there is some Wizard of Oz stuff going on at the ballpark today. The flags in centerfield are blowing straight toward the right field foul pole. Charlie Manuel realized it when he walked out of his house this morning and saw a big tree limb down on his street.

"It got my attention right when I walked out of my house this morning," Manuel said. "I've been down in the dugout. I walked around the field. When the wind blows as hard as it was this morning, it definitely can affect the ball, of course."

The Phillies and Rockies both have some heavy-duty left-handed hitters, so it will be interesting to see how the wind affects the way the ball carries to right field.

The 2008 Championship Pennant is wrapped around the flag pole right now.


Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ will both be in the bullpen today. Pedro Martinez, however, won't. I asked Manuel what Martinez's role is right now.

"He's available to pitch, and definitely he's in the mix to be one of our starters in this series," Manuel said.