The remarkable run for rookie Mike Fiers finally came to a
screeching halt in his most recent start for the Milwaukee
Cole Hamels is hoping his string of scoreless innings has no end
Coming off back-to-back shutouts, the Philadelphia Phillies
left-hander seeks to extend his streak of 22 innings since last
allowing a run Saturday night in Milwaukee.
Hamels (13-6, 2.91 ERA) was already having a strong season
before his recent gems, but those efforts may have vaulted him into
the conversation for his first NL Cy Young Award.
In blanking Atlanta and Miami, Hamels yielded 12 hits – 11
singles – while striking out 11 and walking one. He didn’t allow a
run in the final four innings of his previous start at Washington,
meaning he’s three innings from matching his career-best streak of
25 straight scoreless innings, established Aug. 24-Sept. 8,
“Are you expecting complete-game shutouts the entire time? No,”
teammate Kevin Frandsen said. “But watching Cole for all of these
years and playing against him, he’s capable of doing that every
The Brewers haven’t faced Hamels this year, but they know what
he can do. He has posted a 1.59 ERA in winning his last three
starts versus Milwaukee, pitching a four-hitter in a 7-2 victory at
Miller Park in the most recent one Sept. 8.
Runs figure to be at a premium if Fiers (6-5, 2.63) pitches like
he has for most of his impressive rookie campaign, but this game
may be no contest if the right-hander throws like he did
Fiers allowed eight runs – doubling his previous season high –
and nine hits in a 9-6 loss at Colorado in which he got knocked out
of the game with no outs in the third inning, by far the shortest
of his 13 major league starts.
“Just terrible all the way around,” said Fiers, who had been 5-2
with a 1.03 ERA over his previous nine starts, allowing two runs or
fewer in each of them and eight runs total over that stretch.
“That wasn’t close to my other starts and I’m not happy about
it,” he added.
The Phillies (54-65) haven’t yet faced Fiers, but they’ve seen
plenty of Ryan Braun. The reigning NL MVP hit a two-run homer – his
NL-leading 32nd – in a 6-2 win over Philadelphia on Friday after
going deep twice in a 7-4 victory in the opener of this four-game
set the previous night.
Braun is 10 for 19 with five homers in five games against the
Phillies this year. He’s 4 for 24 lifetime against Hamels including
postseason, but two of those hits were homers.
The Brewers (54-64) are trying to win their ninth straight home
game and even the season series at three-all. They were swept at
Philadelphia with three 7-6 defeats last month, part of their
current 1-14 stretch on the road.
The Phillies’ bats have been much quieter lately with Carlos
Ruiz on the disabled list and Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence
departed via trade. They’re averaging 3.0 runs in their last 20
games, and they’ve totaled 13 through the first five games of their