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Game Thread, 7/8: Piniero vs. Hamels

Having failed every test over the last month to which the answer wasn't "the Braves," the Phillies start another with a three-game series against St. Louis. The Cardinals come in with a record of 50-40, two games better than the Phils and probably about 10 better than what most had predicted for them when the season began. Albert Pujols is doing it all, as usual: despite a series of minor injuries, the superstar is hitting .350.471/.624 with 18 homers this season, and he's always enjoyed OFJOAB. He's 3 for 7 with a double and a homer off Cole Hamels, who starts for the Phils.

Hamels would have a legitimate beef about being left off the 2008 all-star team, but he's been quiet about any hard feelings. Maybe that means he'll take it out on the NL over the next three-plus months. My one concern with him is the 128.2 innings he's already logged; Cole has gone at least 7 in each of his last six starts.