May 24, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT
How about that free-agent-to-be Cole Hamels, eh? Cole was filthy on Wednesday night, going out and winning his seventh game in a row, a career berst, to put an end to the Phillies four-game losing streak and give the team something positive to hang their hats on prior to kicking off their four-game set with the first place Cardinals tonight in St. Louis. Despite losing one of the best players in the game in Albert Pujols, the reigning champs champs currently hold a half game lead over the Cincinnati Reds in the Central.
The beasts of last year’s awful, horrendous, totally lame, and disappointing NL Division Series, Chris Carpenter and Lance Berkman, are both on the DL. So we won’t have them to remind us of the ugly end to the 2011 season. But there are plenty of other familiar faces to do just that anyway.
Papa J-Roll — welcome to Philly, Camryn Drew! — is back from the Paternity Leave list which means Kratz Kratz Kratz Kratz Kratz was optioned to Lehigh Valley. We’re just glad Erik got the chance to belt his first homer in the bigs while he enjoyed his cup.
Sadly, Ryan Howard is still rehabbing down in Clearwater so there will be none of his infamous home cooking this weekend.
It’ll be Joe Blanton (4-4, 3.74) going up against right-hander Jake Westbrook (4-3, 2.41) in tonight’s contest. Heavy B is coming off a tough outing against the Red Sox in which he gave up a career-high 4 home runs and 7 runs (6 earned) overall in 4.1 innings of work. It ended his sweet streak of non-loss performances at CBP that dated back multiple seasons.
As for the Pujols-less Cards offense, David Freese has continued to impress in the Lou, knocking in his 30th and 31st runs of the season on Wednesday night. He’s one of three players with 30+ RBI through 44 games this season. Carlos Beltran has been producing for the Cards, sitting 2nd overall in the NL with 37 RBI.
8:15 start from the middle portion of the United States.
Chooch Ruiz is your cleanup hitter again. And he’s a badass.
Lineup at STL. Rollins. Polanco. Pence. Ruiz. Vic. Wigg 1b. Mayberry lf. Galvis 2b. Joe B.
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) May 24, 2012
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