Phillies-Marlins Preview

Cole Hamels is excited he’ll be part of Philadelphia Phillies

history at next week’s All-Star Game. Hamels would likely feel even

better if he makes his next start.

After suffering a bruised right hand in his last outing, Hamels

is expected to get the ball Tuesday night in Miami where the NL

East-leading Philadelphia Phillies go for their seventh straight

victory over the Florida Marlins.

Selected as an All-Star for the second time Sunday, Hamels will

be joined on the NL squad next Tuesday by fellow Phillies starters

Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay. It is the first time in club history

that three Phillies pitchers have been selected to the Midsummer

Classic.

“It’s pretty cool,” Hamels told the Phillies’ official website.

“It’s an honor just to be in that sort of caliber of pitchers. What

we’re doing right now, we’re just trying to be the best. Obviously,

it’s showing that we’re capable of it.”

After Vance Worley threw seven innings of two-hit ball in

Monday’s 1-0 series-opening victory, Hamels (9-4, 2.41 ERA) is set

to make his final start before the All-Star break. He left

Thursday’s 5-2 loss to Boston after getting hit on the glove hand

by a line drive off Adrian Gonzalez’s bat in the fourth inning.

X-rays were negative, and Hamels said he doesn’t have any

lingering effects from getting hit.

“I’m good,” the left-hander said Saturday after playing

catch.

That’s good news for the Phillies (54-32), who have won 20 of 24

in Miami and eight of 10 overall in this divisional matchup in

2011.

The Marlins (38-47), losers of 14 of 16 at home, will look to

bounce back with Chris Volstad (4-7, 5.01) trying to match a career

best by winning his third consecutive start. He last accomplished

that feat from Sept 20-30.

Volstad has done a great job keeping the ball down in his last

two starts by inducing 26 groundouts, but keeping the ball in the

park could be a challenge against the Phillies. Philadelphia tagged

him for a career-worst four homers in a 9-1 home win June 14.

Ryan Howard, who hit a two-run shot off the right-hander in that

matchup, has seven homers in 24 at-bats versus Volstad – his most

against any pitcher.

Raul Ibanez and Jimmy Rollins are a combined 21 for 48 with four

homers against Volstad.

Marlins right-fielder Mike Stanton, who has not gone deep in 75

at-bats, is 2 for 12 with seven strikeouts versus Hamels. The

Phillies left-hander improved to 5-7 with a 3.50 ERA in 17 starts

against Florida after leaving in the eighth inning of the June 14

victory with tightness in the middle of his back.

Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez has struck out more times (13)

against Hamels than any other pitcher.