Hamels Takes Hill
Greg Maddux blew his first attempt at his 350th win with his worst performance of the season. He missed the milestone again as Trevor Hoffman wasted his brilliant effort.
On Tuesday night, the future Hall of Famer gets a third opportunity to become only the ninth player to reach that plateau when the punchless San Diego Padres open a three-game set against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Philadelphia -170 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 55% of bets for this game have been placed on Philadelphia -170 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
Maddux (2-1, 3.66 ERA) won his 349th game on April 13 - a day before his 42nd birthday - by limiting the Dodgers to two hits in five innings of a 1-0 win at Los Angeles. The right-hander then failed miserably in his bid for No. 350 on April 18, giving up a career-high nine earned runs and 13 hits in a 9-0 loss at Arizona.
He appeared on his way to reaching the goal Wednesday against San Francisco, scattering four hits over seven innings before turning the game over to the bullpen with a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately for Maddux, Hoffman served up a solo homer to Bengie Molina with one out in the ninth before the Padres (10-16) went on to lose 3-2 in 13 innings.
Maddux, though, didn't fault the closer, who is the major league leader with 528 career saves.
"A guy went down and hit a good pitch (Wednesday)," Maddux said. "Every now and then you've got to tip your hat."
Now, Maddux will try to notch victory No. 350 at Philadelphia (14-12), where he is 14-8 with a 3.22 ERA in 27 games. He won his only start there last season, allowing three runs and seven hits in seven innings of a 14-3 victory on Aug. 24.
He would appreciate that type of run support from his teammates. However, the Padres are last in the majors with a .225 batting average and their 84 runs rank at the bottom of the NL, and are only two more than Kansas City for the fewest in baseball.
San Diego generated only five hits Sunday, losing 2-1 to Arizona to drop to 2-10 in its last 12 games. The Padres are hitting .174 in that stretch while scoring three runs or less in nine of those contests - all losses.
The only Padres hitting above .280 on the season are pitchers Jake Peavy (.308) and Justin Germano (.400).
San Diego went 3-4 against Philadelphia last season, but won two of three meetings at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies, coming off Sunday's 5-1 loss at Pittsburgh to end a seven-game road trip at 5-2, hope Cole Hamels (2-3, 2.75) can take advantage of a matchup with the slumping Padres after a pair of subpar outings.
The 24-year-old left-hander struck out a season-high 11 on Wednesday, but gave up eight hits, including two homers, and five runs in seven innings of a 5-4 loss at Milwaukee. That performance came after Hamels allowed five runs and eight hits in seven innings of a 6-4 defeat to New York on April 18.
Prior to those contests, Hamels began 2008 with three impressive starts, going 2-1 with a 0.82 ERA.
He's 0-1 with a 3.07 ERA in three starts against the Padres, but they have only hit .173 against him.
Pat Burrell is looking to continue his hot hitting after going 9-for-24 (.375) with four doubles, two homers and eight RBIs during Philadelphia's road trip. The left fielder, who has a .349 batting average on the season, is hitting .366 (15-for-41) with two homers off Maddux.