Hamels returns to a favorite joint
Philadelphia (2-4) at Cincinnati (4-2), Monday, 12:35 p.m. ET
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Most pitchers don't rank Great American Ball Park on their list of favorite places to throw.
Maybe it's the jet stream that sometimes carries balls out to right-center field, or the other general weather conditions that make the field popular with hitters.
However, there's if there's one thing to know about Cole Hamels, it's that he's not like most pitchers.
"This is one of my favorite parks," he said. "A lot has happpened here. When you feel really comfortable at a field, it's always exciting to go there."
The park that sits on the winding banks of the Ohio River has special meaning for Hamels. He made his Major League debut here on May 12, 2006, allowing one hit in five innings, yielding five walks and striking out seven, including Ken Griffey Jr. twice.
Last season, Hamels pitched a complete game here, striking out a career-high 15. On that night, he felt he could "close his eyes and still throw strikes." The Phillies also turned a triple-play in that game.
"That saved me about 15 pitches, and that was able to get me into the ninth inning for my complete game," Hamels said. "That was a game where a lot happened."
Overall, he is 1-0 with an 0.64 ERA in 14 career innings against the Reds.
Myers attributes Hamels' favor to Great American Ball Park's high pitcher's mound.
"I think it's the tallest mound in the league," he said. "The angles that I pitch from, to their eye, I don't think they can register [the ball] as well."
PHI: LHP Cole Hamels (0-1, 1.13 ERA)
The lefty is coming off a stellar effort in his 2008 debut, but came out on the wrong side of a 1-0 loss to Washington. He was brilliant through eight innings, save for a solo home run allowed to Ryan Zimmerman.
CIN: RHP Bronson Arroyo (0-0, 3.60 ERA)
Arroyo pitched five innings Wednesday, with two of his four runs allowed being earned. He allowed four hits and three walks and struck out five, but left the game trailing by a 4-2 margin. However, the Reds got him off the hook for the loss with Edwin Encarnacion's walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth, winning the game, 6-5. Arroyo did not face the Phillies last season. In six games, including five starts lifetime, he is 1-3 with a 4.34 ERA.