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Cole Hamels Looks To Continue Dominant Form, Raul Ibanez Big Weekend

Chris DiFrancescoAnalyst IMay 18, 2009

Cole Hamels might be looking forward to tomorrow's matchup against the Cincinnati Reds more so than his last start at home with the Dodgers where he threw seven good innings and whiffed nine hitters donning Dodger blue.

Why?

Last season, 'Hollywood' Hamels absolutely dominated the Reds, going a perfect 2-0 with a staggering 0.56 ERA and allowing only one run in over 16 innings. The only difference this time around is the Reds are a better team this year, so far.

The Reds are 20-17 and only three games out of first place in the Central. But, on the other foot, the defending world champs just came off of a four-game weekend sweep of the league's professional AAA ball-club the Washington Nationals.

To defend that comment, the point is the Phillies swept a team they were supposed to beat.

The Phils offense during these last four games were consistent and clutch for perhaps the first time all season, scoring 33 runs in four games, collecting a stellar 49 hits.

The pitching however, was once again average at best. Allowing 22 runs to a terrible Washington Nationals squad who could barely put 22 fans of their own in their ballpark.

The Phils need another good quality start from the ace tomorrow as they embark on on an important three-game series in Cincy. Philadelphia is only a half game back of the division leading Mets, who begin a three-game series out in Los Angeles with the Dodgers.

RAAAAUUULLL and Burrell who?

For those who questioned the age or the potential mistake of signing left-fielder Raul Ibanez, they are definitely hiding in a closet somewhere far away now. Ibanez clubbed three homer runs while driving in nine over the weekend, adding to his already unbelievable stat sheet so far this season.

Ibanez's profile now looks like this: .357-13HR-35RBI-.425OBP. Although we are only 36 games in to the season, Ibanez outside of San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez is your NL MVP so far.

Pat Burrell, the all-of-sudden lovable son when he was on his way out of here after the World Series victory, was just placed on the 15-day-DL with a stiff neck.

Through 30 games this season that Burrell has played in, his line looks like this: .250-1HR-17RBI-.349OBP. Now, they look all to familiar besides the one dinger.

Basically, maybe a few times this season when Raul makes his jog to left-field, a few can feel obligated to yell, "Burrell who?"

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