Cole Hamels Is Pretty Good, Pitching Tonight

Cole Hamels Is Pretty Good, Pitching Tonight

When all this Four Aces stuff first started, there is one guy who I felt maybe flew under the radar, and it's not Joe Blanton. Cole Hamels was number four, not just in the rotation, but with the hype machine as well, and that didn't seem right. After all, the 27 year old is the only World Series MVP of the bunch, and it was entirely possible—if not likely—his best baseball was still ahead of him.

Fast forward to June 14, when if Cole was ever in fact taken for granted, he certainly is not now. Hamels has arguably taken over the lead as the Phillies' most dominant pitcher in 2011, or at the very least a close second. He's 8-2 with a 2.58 ERA, and a win tonight would tie him with teammate Roy Halladay and Boston's Jon Lester for the most in the Majors.

Hamels has been nothing short of magnificent from his second start on this season. He's lasted a minimum of six innings in every outing, and gone seven or later in all but two, while allowing more than three runs on only one occasion. The Phils are 10-2 over those twelve appearances, and Cole hasn't lost a decision since May 8.

Hamels is also eighth in MLB with 91 strikeouts, and leads the NL in the somewhat underutilized WHIP statistic—walks and hits per innings pitched.

While King Cole will try to keep pace with both his teammate and the rest of the league, the Phillies begin a four-game series over the next three days at home versus the Florida Marlins tonight, before hopping a plane after Thursday's day game for a brutal trip to Seattle. The Fightins defeated the Marlins 3-2 in Hamels' last meeting with the Fish on April 17, allowing two earned runs over seven innings to work a no decision.

Taking the hill for Florida is big righty Chris Volstad (2-6, 5.51), who has struggled mightily against the Phils for most of his four-year career. Volstad last picked up a W over the good guys on May 25, 2009, and is a miserable 0-5 with a 5.60 ERA in eight starts since.

Volstad's last start versus the Phils came on September 7, 2010. The former first round pick allowed nine hits and five runs over five, including three bombs. Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, and Ryan Howard each took the 24 year old deep in an 8-7 win.

Indeed, Ibanez and Howard have experienced great success at the plate against Volstad. Raul is 10-for-19 with three home runs lifetime, while The Big Piece is 11-23 and has gone yard an astounding six times. With Hamels on the hill, you figure if either of those two can connect tonight, the odds on a Phillies win are pretty good.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Sixers let game slip away in second half against Celtics

Sixers let game slip away in second half against Celtics

BOX SCORE

The box score shows an imbalanced fourth quarter when the Sixers were outscored 33-20 by the Celtics. 

The play-by-play breakdown demonstrates the Celtics breaking an 84-84 tie with seven minutes remaining to end the game on an 18-8 run. 

The stat line tells the story of the Sixers giving up seven points to Kyrie Irving in less than four minutes to close out the game. 

That’s how the Celtics took over the Sixers home opener. The Sixers felt the game slip away earlier than that. 

“We struggled in the third to continue what we had going,” Jerryd Bayless said. “We didn’t hold everything together like we should have.”

The Sixers led the Celtics 50-46 at halftime. JJ Redick had matched Irving’s 12 points and the Sixers had only given up four points off turnovers, a needed improvement from their first game. 

They jumped ahead by nine, 65-56, with 4:35 to play in the third. That’s when they noticed the change. The Sixers went scoreless for a two-minute stretch. The Celtics failed to hit a field goal during that stretch (0 for 4), but they scored six points off free throws. The Sixers didn’t take advantage of the Celtics' shooting skid; instead, they hit one, too (0 for 3 from the field, three turnovers). 

“That was our chance to build that lead,” Redick said. “We were getting stops and we couldn’t get anything going offensively. It seemed like we were stuck at 65 for what seemed like forever. It was a seven-point game and we were getting stops and we never could push it past that, and it ended up being a three-point game to start the fourth. That was for sure when the momentum started shifting.”

The Sixers shot 39.1 percent from the field in the fourth while the Celtics were an efficient 64.7 percent. The Sixers fell flat from long range (1 for 6) and took just two free throws. The Celtics, meanwhile, scored 12 points from three (4 for 8) and went 7 for 7 at the line. In addition to Irving's offensive burst, Al Horford and Shane Larkin combined for 17 points in the quarter. 

“My mind goes to stops and not fouling,” Brett Brown said. “I think we fouled too much.” 

This loss emphasizes the importance of holding onto a lead when it’s in the Sixers' grasp instead of having to play catch up. Not when their roster is newly constructed and they are looking to young players down the stretch. Not when they are facing a a player like Irving who can take over at will, especially when he sees a window of opportunity. 

“Come on, that’s winning time,” Irving said of the fourth.