After nearly three injury-plagued years, Mike Hampton is back. The 35-year old left-hander will make today's start against Cole Hamels and the Phillies. Hampton, who has strained, pulled, or torn just about ever muscle and tendon in his body was slated to start earlier in the season but strained his pectoral muscle while warming up (keep your fingers crossed for today's warmup!). In eight rehab starts, Hampton was 0-1 with a 2.33 ERA, 6.75 K/BB, and a 3.33 GO/AO.
Opposing Hampton is a very formidable opponent. Left-hander Cole Hamels will make the start for the Phillies and to say he has absolutely dominated the Braves this season would be a drastic understatement. In two starts against Atlanta, Hamels is 2-0. He pitched 17.2 innings (one out short of two complete games) and allowed only one run in both starts combined.
The Braves need to keep rolling up until the deadline so every game is important. If there was any time to hit a good pitcher hard, it's now. Let's just hope Hampton can give the Braves five solid innings today.