With baseball's non-waiver trading deadline nearly two weeks away, Cole Hamels may be entering his final few starts in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform, that is if they can't sign him to a contract extension.
Hamels is due to become a free agent at the end of this season and will command big money on the open market, but the Phillies may not wait that long to pull the trigger on a trade, especially considering they're in last place in the NL East and well behind the pack in the chase for the two wild card spots. The Phillies have also reportedly been in talks with the All-Star about getting an extension done prior to July 31.
This afternoon, Hamels takes the hill against the Rockies in the rubber match of a three-game series. The lefty is 0-1 over his last three starts, but has pitched seven innings in each outing, most recently a no-decision vs. the Mets on July 5.
Hamels is 2-1 with a 4.21 ERA in four games against the Rockies.
Drew Pomeranz will be facing the Phillies for the first time in his career. The lefty won his first decision in his last start, allowing a hit over 6 1/3 scoreless innings at Washington on July 6.
Last night, Vance Worley pitched 6 2/3 strong innings and went 2-for-3 at the plate with a clutch two-run double in an 8-5 Phillies win.
"I don't mind hitting here," joked Worley. "I don't enjoy pitching here, it's funky. It's hard to breathe and you really have to make sure you get on top of the ball and direct it otherwise it's not going to do anything."
Worley (5-5) allowed two runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts to earn the win. Jonathan Papelbon recorded the final five outs of the game to notch his 19th save of the season.
Carlos Ruiz clubbed a three-run home run and Chase Utley added a pair of RBI singles among his three hits for the Phils, who snapped a five-game losing streak. Juan Pierre went 3-for-3 with a run scored and Shane Victorino contributed two hits, including an RBI triple, in the victory.
Jeremy Guthrie (3-9) absorbed the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Wilin Rosario crushed a three-run home run and Carlos Gonzalez added an RBI double for the Rockies, who had their brief two-game winning streak snapped.
Guthrie gave up four runs in the opening inning, including the homer to Ruiz.
"You look at four runs and just think the world is coming to an end, but it really came down to one big pitch to Ruiz to one of the best hitters in the league right now," admitted Guthrie.
Philadelphia took two of three meetings earlier this season and has won 15 of the last 19 games between the clubs. The Phillies have not lost a series in Denver since July 6-8, 2007. On the flip side, the Phils have dropped their last eight Sunday contests.