Phillies turn to Hamels to even series

Phillies turn to Hamels to even series

ATLANTA -- Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels just hasn't been himself in 2009.

Maybe getting back to the National League will help.

Hamels, who starts Wednesday night against the Braves at Turner Field, is 4-4 with a 4.44 ERA in 14 starts this season.

He has had some good starts this year: a shutout June 4 against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, two runs in eight innings against the Orioles on June 21 and two runs in seven innings against the Dodgers on May 14.

But those also happen to be the only three starts this season Hamels has pitched more than six innings.

He has had some bad/tough starts, too. He got knocked out of starts April 23 and April 28 because of injuries. He got ejected for the first time in his career in a loss to Toronto on Friday, when he allowed eight hits and four runs in just 4 2/3 innings.

The Phillies are hoping the World Series MVP starts pitching more consistently -- and deeper -- into games.

They wouldn't mind if it started Wednesday night.

Pitching matchup
PHI: LHP Cole Hamels (4-4, 4.44 ERA)
Hamels did not fare well against the Blue Jays in his last outing. The left-hander exhausted 105 pitches in the start, lasting just 4 2/3 innings. He took the loss and surrendered four runs on eight hits. When Hamels was removed from the game by manager Charlie Manuel during the fifth inning, he let his emotions show by arguing with the the home-plate umpire, resulting in an ejection. In 12 career starts against the Braves, Hamels is 7-3 with a 3.42 ERA.

ATL: RHP Jair Jurrjens (5-6, 2.93 ERA)
As June concluded, Jurrjens' luck showed no signs of improving. The Curacao native took the loss against the Red Sox on Friday, despite going eight innings and allowing just three earned runs on seven hits. Jurrjens went winless in June, despite allowing just 12 earned runs in 29 1/3 innings. The 23-year-old will try to end his winless streak against a Phillies team that he threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings against on April 7.

The Phillies acquired left-hander Brian Mazone in a trade with the Dodgers. The Phillies gave up nothing in return. Mazone will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. ... This is the latest the Phillies have visited Atlanta for the first time since the Braves moved there in 1966. The previous latest visit happened June 26, 1997. ... The Phils on Sunday tied a franchise record for the most road victories (26) before the All-Star break. They tied the 1976 team (26-9) and the 2003 team (26-20).

 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WPHT 1210, WUBA 1480 (Español)

Up next
• Thursday: Phillies (J.A. Happ, 5-0, 3.00) at Braves (Javier Vazquez, 5-7, 3.04), 7 p.m. ET
• Friday: Phillies (TBD) vs. Mets (Livan Hernandez, 5-3, 4.04), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Phillies (TBD) vs. Mets (Fernando Nieve, 3-1, 2.25), 4:05 p.m. ET

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.