Phillies call on Cole Hamels to snap skid


Apr 29, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) looks for a signal during the fifth inning of the game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

If there’s been one player the Philadelphia Phillies can count on in 2014, it’s been Cole Hamels.

And he might be able to help them snap a three-game losing streak Wednesday night against the San Diego Padres.

Despite an 8-7 record, Hamels has put together quite a nice campaign this season as he has maintained one of the best ERA’s in the National League.  His 2.51 ERA is currently the third best in the NL.  The southpaw has not allowed more than three runs in a game since May 27th and that game he allowed four.  In his last eight starts, he’s gone seven innings in five of them.  During that stretch, however, he is 2-2 and one of those wins came in a combined no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves on the first of September.

For Hamels a trip to San Diego is much more than a road trip, it’s a homecoming.  The 30-year-old was born and raised in San Diego, California where he thrived as a young player to the point he became a future first-round draft pick in 2002.

In his home city the southpaw has a record of 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA.  He’s made seven starts at PetCo Park in his career, one every year he’s been with the Phillies except 2009.

Hamels’ return to San Diego comes just a day after Tony Gwynn, Jr. was greeted with a standing ovation from the PetCo crowd.  Gwynn too comes from San Diego since his father played for the Padres.  The son of “Mr. Padre” was hitless in three at bats on Tuesday.

Throwing from the same side of the rubber will be Eric Stults for the Padres.  He’s faced the Phillies already this season and he went five innings and allowed four earned runs to take the loss.

Ryan Howard has homered twice against Stults in two at bats.  The Phillies’ first baseman has just one home run in September as part of just eight hits in his last 45 at bats.

Philadelphia is 18.5 games back in the NL East with just ten games left after Wednesday.