The Philadelphia Phillies are holding on to Cole Hamels, and he preferred to stay anyway.
Despite being claimed off waivers, Hamels will take the mound looking to continue his recent dominance with another win over the New York Mets on Saturday night.
Philadelphia (52-64) is at the bottom of the NL East and already looking toward 2015. However, the Phillies have opted to hang on to Hamels (6-6, 2.42 ERA) after he was selected by the Chicago Cubs off waivers earlier this week, only to have the 48-hour negotiating period expire without a deal, according to MLB’s official website.
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The left-hander had already stated that he wanted to remain with the Phillies despite their struggles.
With his wish granted, Hamels will now try to help the Phillies beat New York (55-61) for just the second time in 12 home games after falling 5-4 in the opener of this four-game wraparound series Friday.
Philadelphia’s only win in its last seven overall meetings with the Mets came with Hamels on the mound July 29. He had eight strikeouts in eight innings of that 6-0 road victory.
That’s part of a six-start stretch during which Hamels is 4-1 with a 1.24 ERA. He’s allowed two earned runs with 33 strikeouts in 30 innings while winning three of his last four starts.
That blemish came at Washington on Sunday despite allowing an unearned run and four hits in seven innings of a 4-0 loss. He was pulled after only throwing 86 pitches, matching his season low.
"It’s the name of the game," Hamels said. "We’re just trying to win, and I think that’s the philosophy you have to have every time. Every day we go out there, you play to win. The selfish statistics of going deep into games and complete games, no matter if they’re wins or losses, it’s kind of nice every once in the while.
"But at the same time, I have a lot of respect for (manager Ryne Sandberg) trying to win the ballgame and trying to make sure that guys understand that we’re not giving up. It’s the case where until we’re mathematically eliminated, we’re trying to win every ballgame we can."
Hamels is 0-3 with a 6.20 ERA in his past four home starts against New York. He’s struggled when facing Daniel Murphy, allowing him to go 11 for 28 (.393) over the past two seasons.
The second baseman has a career .354 average against the three-time All-Star, and he enters this matchup hitting .455 in his last 13 games after having two hits and an RBI in the series opener.
Murphy leads the NL with 144 hits as he attempts to become the first Met to do so since Jose Reyes had 204 in 2008. He finished second with a career-high 188 last year.
Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.73), who is 0-3 with a 6.85 ERA in his last four starts, gets the ball opposite Hamels again after he allowed five runs in 6 2-3 innings July 29. He was much better against San Francisco on Monday, giving up two runs in 5 2-3 innings while not getting a decision in a 4-3 defeat.
The right-hander is 3-4 with a 6.71 ERA in 11 starts against the Phillies, going 2-2 with an 8.90 ERA in six at Citizens Bank Park.
He’s had a terrible time with Ryan Howard, who is 9 for 20 with six homers – the most Gee has surrendered to anyone.