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Hamels vs. Kuroda As Reserves Get Chance to Prove Their Worth

Jun 8, 2011, 6:24 PM EDT

The Phillies will be without Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley in tonight's starting lineup. How will Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez step up?

Cole Hamels (7-2, 2.83) is coming off one of his tougher losses of the season, not because he pitched poorly, quite the contrary. Hamels threw eight innings of one hit, one run ball in Pittsburgh, but the offense failed to support him as the team fell 2-1.

The Phillies will turn to Hamels tonight to help them bounce back from a frustrating loss on Tuesday. He has nice career numbers against the Dodgers, with a 5-0 record and 2.52 ERA in eight starts including the postseason. Cole is looking for his eighth win of the season, which would tie him with Roy Halladay and two others for the league lead.

The struggling offense, which is without Utley and Rollins in the starting lineup tonight, will face Hiroki Kuroda (5-6, 3.46) for L.A. Kuroda has struggled in his past few outings, but has tremendous career numbers against the Phils. From the notes, “Kuroda’s numbers against the Phils are staggering. In four
regular-season starts, the lefty is 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA, surrendering
just seven hits in 26 2/3 career innings versus the Phillies.”

First pitch scheduled for 7:05. It’s down right hot tonight, even more so than last night. So the ball could be flying.