Hamels won for the third time in four starts on Friday, as he beat the San Diego Padres, holding them to a run and three hits over eight innings. He also matched a season high with 10 strikeouts and improved to 12-5 on the year to go along with a 2.62 earned run average.
Hamels has faced the Giants eight times and is 4-2 against them with a 4.67 ERA.
The Phils can only hope Hamels gives them the type of effort Vance Worley did in the opener, as the young right-hander tossed the first complete game of his career and was backed by four home runs in a 7-2 win.
This, of course, was the first matchup between these teams since San Francisco beat the Phillies in six games of last year’s NLCS.
Worley (7-1) maintained his minuscule 2.02 earned-run average by allowing only two runs on three hits. He struck out five and walked one in the brisk two- hour, eight-minute affair.
“[Worley] has good stuff. We knew coming into the game he was throwing the ball well, and he did. He throws quality strikes and pounds the strike zone,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Raul Ibanez smacked a three-run homer in the first inning, Ryan Howard and John Mayberry each added solo blasts and Chase Utley raced around for an inside-the-parker for the Phillies, who failed to finish off a four-game sweep of the Padres on Monday but have won six of seven overall.
Philadelphia did most of its damage against Barry Zito (3-3), who was tagged for six runs on six hits over seven frames. Aaron Rowand had a pinch-hit home run for San Francisco, which took two of three from the Brewers over the weekend in another battle of first-place teams.
Zito’s spot in the rotation was moved up a day because Tim Lincecum was scratched due to an apparent stomach virus.
The Giants had hoped to have Lincecum back on the hill this evening, but he remained ill so the club moved righty Matt Cain, who is 8-6 on the year with a 3.06 ERA, up a day.
Because of an off day on Monday, Cain is still pitching on a normal four days’ rest.
Cain pitched well against the Phils in last year’s NLCS, but is 0-3 in five regular season starts against them with a 6.23 ERA.
The Phillies are a stellar 74-40 against the NL West since 2008.
Vance Worley tossed his first career complete game, allowing just three hits and two runs as the Phillies beat the Giants 7-2 in their first meeting since the 2010 ALCS. The Phils offense was once again sparked by the long ball as Raul Ibanez, John Mayberry, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley all homered, with Utley's being a spectacular inside the parker that ended with a somewhat controversial play at the plate.
Utley, Mayberry and Howard all had two hits on the night, while Ibanez tallied three RBI.
Giants ace Tim Lincecum had been scheduled to start tonight, but was scratched after coming down with the flu. Barry Zito was moved up to make the start and things got off on a bad note. Zito served up four runs in the bottom of the first, including a three run shot from Ibanez. He did settle down from that point on and only gave up two more runs over the next six innings. But the damage was done.
Cole Hamels takes the hill tomorrow night against either Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum.