The greatest pitcher of the current era takes the hill at OFJOAB tonight. (And Greg Maddux will be there too.)
Maddux (2-1, 3.66) is going for his 350th career win, while Cole Hamels (2-3, 2.75) just seeks to get back to .500 for the 2008 season. The 42 year-old right-hander has gone at least six innings in all but one of his five starts this season, and he brings a 28-17 lifetime record against the Phillies into tonight's contest. Maddux was the winner of a 14-3 decision in Philadelphia last August 24.
Hamels, a San Diego-area native, has lost his last two decisions after being left in a bit too long. On April 18, he had surrendered just two runs through seven innings to the Mets, but left in the 8th with the bases loaded and no outs; all three runners eventually scored. Last Wednesday, he shook off a three-run first inning to carry a 4-3 lead into the 8th at Milwaukee before surrendering a decisive two-run homer to Prince Fielder. Hamels did record 11 strikeouts in the game, his season-best; he also threw 121 pitches, a career high. If he's touched up tonight by the light-hitting Padres--who boast only one player, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, with an OPS over .800 (.818)--expect to hear loud kvetching about that pitch count.