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Showdown of the Young Guns

May 4, 2008, 1:16 PM EDT

Fans headed to Citizens Bank Park this afternoon should be in for a great game, with Phillies ace/ninja Cole Hamels taking the mound against Giants phenom-fireballer Tim Lincecum. A diminutive pitcher a la Roy Oswalt, Linc is listed at 5’11, but that might be in his cleats. Kid’s got a cannon though, and he can put some K’s on the board.

No wonder he is so good., originally uploaded by pendeho.

Lincecum struggled at times last season, getting a little wild here and there, but he’s been outstanding during the first month of the 2008 campaign, earning 4 wins despite poor run support. His only loss came in his last turn, although he only gave up 3 runs in the effort. This pitcher is a lot of fun to watch, with some crazy mechanics, violent torsion, and a wind up that makes you think he might throw his whole arm at the plate.

Linc’s given up just one homer so far, but something tells me the Phils will add to that total today. Chase Utley and Pat Burrell continue to be locked in, with Chase adding
another HR to his league-leading total last night. Utley won NL Player
of the Month honors
for April, and Burrell was in the running as well.
PTB finished the month with 25 RBI, a club record.

Hamels has had some real nice outings this year, but he’s twice lost his stuff late in the game, letting otherwise good starts slip away from him. If he’s motoring along through the first 6 innings, we’ll be watching to see if Uncle Charlie has him on a shorter leash come time for the 7th and 8th.

Ryan Howard is severely due to come out of his slumber, and Lincecum could be just what the doctor ordered (or, he could strike Howard out 4 times today). In his MLB debut on a Sunday night last season, Linc served up a meatball that Howard just destroyed. Hopefully he’ll hang another one and Howard can finally get on track this season.