Just when Roy Oswalt appears to be rounding into shape we can add Cole Hamels to a growing list of worries. Ever since returning from the RMDL (Rest Masquerading as Disabled List) for shoulder inflammation, Hamels has been rather inconsistent. Last night he surrendered four earned runs and a pair of home runs in seven innings as the Cards blanked the soggy Phils 5-0.
Hamels joins Antonio Bastardo and Michael Stutes on the list of pitching anxieties. Among position players, Ryan Howard's foot, Chase Utley's swing (last night's 3-4 performance notwithstanding), Jimmy Rollins' groin, and Placido Polanco's sports hernia and back are the chief concerns. Indeed, the offense has been sputtering lately despite the occasional outburst such as Saturday night.
Hamels and Bastardo represent the biggest worries because, frankly, pitching has been the name of the game all season long for this club. The Phils need a healthy, dominant Hamels for the post-season and they need a lefty out of the pen besides untested Joe Slavery.
There are eleven more games left to sort things out.
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The Giants have run off quite a winning streak to project themselves back into the playoff picture as the Wild Card. Nothing would disappoint more than to see them make it!