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News » Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-06

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-06

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-06
Go ahead and bank on Cole Hamels making his next start.

Hamels, the Phillies' ace left-hander, threw a bullpen session and did agility and fielding drills before Tuesday's game at Busch Stadium, and he reported no pain or soreness in his sprained left ankle. Hamels has been scheduled to start Friday against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.

"I'm comfortable on the mound again," he said before the Phillies wrapped their two-game series with the Cardinals. "I'm not really thinking of the injury. Running and doing the cuts, I didn't feel anything."

Hamels threw a bullpen session Saturday in Philadelphia, and although his arm felt fine, he was concerned about being able to effectively field his position. He'd initially been scheduled to start one of the games in St. Louis, but after Sunday's rainout, the Phillies were able to push him back.

Pitching coach Rich Dubee and manager Charlie Manuel said the team wanted to give Hamels the maximum time available to heal and never considered starting him Wednesday or Thursday against the rival Mets in New York.

"The Atlanta Braves are just as important as the Mets right now," manager Charlie Manuel said. "To me, it's no different. Like Walter Alston said, you have to beat 'em all."

Hamels, the 2008 World Series MVP, is 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA, so things can only get better.

He was slowed during spring training by left elbow inflammation, a condition that contributed to his poor first two starts (12 runs allowed in 9 2/3 innings against Colorado and San Diego). In his third start, April 23 against Milwaukee, he got hit on the left shoulder by a line drive and left the game in the fourth inning.

Then came the sprained ankle, which KO'd him from his last start after 4 1/3 innings and 61 pitches. Hamels, who threw about 55 pitches in his bullpen session Tuesday, said he expects to be able to go for at least 90 pitches Friday.

"My arm feels great," said Hamels, who will have his ankle taped Friday as a safeguard. "My timing feels a lot better. I'm able to hit my spots with all three of my pitches."

PHILLIES 10, CARDINALS 7: Shane Victorino went 4-for-4 with three RBIs to extend his hitting streak to 14 games and lead the Phillies to a two-game series sweep over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Jayson Werth belted a three-run home run into the second deck in left field, and Ryan Howard continued his dominance in his hometown by reaching base three times. Playing without Chase Utley (bruised right foot), the Phillies matched a season high with 15 hits. Brett Myers allowed five runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings and got credit for his second victory. Howard, who grew up near St. Louis, is 24-for-63 (.381) with seven homers and 29 RBIs and has reached base in 45 of 84 plate appearances in 17 career games at Busch Stadium.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 6, 2009

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