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Cole Hamels stepped onto the mound Wednesday and immediately dominated. He went eight innings and gave up just two hits and zero runs. This was exactly what the Phillies needed.
The Phillies needed this first game, and Hamels made it so much easier to win it. They needed the confidence the win brings, they needed the deep breath the wins brings, but most of all they needed this win because they needed to get out in front of the Brewers, especially when you look at who's pitching for the Brew Crew tomorrow.
CC Sabathia will pitch for Milwaukee. Sabathia has been the best pitcher in baseball ever since his arrival in Milwaukee, and even though he has pitched in three straight starts in which he only got three days rest and will pitch on three days rest again tomorrow, I do think he is still very effective.
In those three starts, he hasn't allowed more than one earned run, and has allowed just four hits in each of his last two starts.
So even though Sabathia has had a ton of pitching lately, I still think he will be effective tomorrow, based on his recent starts on three days rest.
Brett Myers will be going for the Phillies. In his last two starts, Myers has been very shaky. He allowed ten earned runs in the first of the two starts, and allowed four earned runs in the second of the two, going four innings and four and a third innings, respectively. He allowed nine hits in the ten earned run start, and allowed ten hits in the four earned run start.
Do I think this bump in the road will continue? Not necessarily. I like Brett Myers' style, and I like how fired up he gets in big games. I like to see emotion out there, because it shows me that the pitcher is into the game and has real fire and emotion behind that ball.
I hope Myers can come out with that fired up mentality. If he does, I expect a nice outing from Myers.
But what else is going to be big in a win for the Phillies tomorrow? The offense? The defense? The bullpen?
Today, starting pitching and a little defense were the only factors in this game. The Phillies had one inning in which they scored, and the same goes for the Brewers.
Tomorrow may not be much different. I don't expect to see many runs scored based on the pitching match ups.
But, out of the three factors I just stated, I think bullpens will be the biggest part of the game. I don't expect to see Sabathia go deep into the game, so the Brewers bullpen will need to perform just as good as they did today.
But what about my prediction?
I'm going with the Brewers over the Phillies, 5-3. Myers won't pitch terrible, but he won't pitch great, while I think Sabathia will be as dominant as he has been in his last few starts.