Last night, the Phils dropped their first game in over a week, snapping a seven-game win streak, and propelling them back four games in the Wild Card race. In the early goings, it looked like the Phillies victory: a four-run lead against a pathetically weak offense in the Astros. Nope. The Astros would slowly come back to come within one run in the fourth inning. They would keep trailing the Phils, 4-3 until the bottom of the eighth inning when they over-toppled the Phillies and took a 5-4 lead. That lead would extend to 6 and the Astros went on to beat the Phillies.
Now back four games, the Phillies will look to get back on the winning pace as they back Cole Hamels (14-6, 3.03 ERA). Opposing the Phils will be Edgar Gonzalez (2-0, 1.74 ERA), who is making his third career start.
In Hamels' last start, a no-decision against the Rockies, he allowed two earned runs on five hits while striking out six. Hamels has been superb over his last seven starts. Since July 27, the lefty is 3-1 with a 2.26 ERA. To go along with his dominance, Hamels has held opposing hitters to a .229 average. Tonight Hamels will be looking for his 15th win of the season, which would also tie a career-high. In his career against the Astros, Hamels is 3-3 with a 5.02 ERA.
Edgar Gonzalez is making his first home-start of the year (third career start) tonight. Since being called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City, Gonzalez has allowed just two earned runs over 10 1/3 innings of work. In his last start, a win against the Reds, Gonzalez tossed five innings of two-hit, one-run ball to gain his second career win in as many starts. Gonzalez seems to have gotten his career off in a good start, but he has never faced the Phillies, and anything can happen.
Tonight's lineup @ Houston:
- Rollins SS
- Pierre LF
- Utley 2B
- Howard 1B
- Chooch C
- Brown RF
- Mayberry CF
- Frandsen 3B
- Hamels P.
TV: CSN ; Radio: 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP.
Follow Erik on Twitter @ErikSeyboldPHI.