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515-game-thread-chuck-james-returns-to-the-rotation-unthinkingly | May | 2008 Articles

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5/15 Game Thread: Chuck James Returns to the Rotation, Unthinkingly

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Despite our best efforts to give that game back last night, the Phillies just wouldn't let us lose, so we're even in the series approaching tonight's rubber match. Chuck James comes back from AAA, where he's been trying to figure out how to return to his 2006 form. He's actually pitched quite well at Richmond, and is coming off a terrific 7-inning, 6-hit, 1-run performance. But he's got a 7.58 ERA in the majors this year, and some pitchers might get nervous as they tried to make a good impression. Fortunately, Chuck's working hard to avoid such a problem, saying: "I don't like to think too much, and I've definitely been doing too much thinking lately." Chuck will be pitching in one of the more extreme hitters' parks in the majors, Citizens Bank Park, where he had a 5.52 ERA in 3 starts last year (only 14 2/3 IP). He had a very nice 16-3 K/BB ratio, but was sunk by 4 homers, as you might expect when a flyball pitcher like him goes to a bandbox like that. Career, he's 2-0 against the Phillies in 6 starts, with a 4.08 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, a 35/6 K/BB ratio, and 8 homers. Other than the homer bug, he's been terrific against them. His opposite number is Cole Hamels, who outpitched Steve Carlton before he was born. Cole also outdueled Chuck in their only meeting, last August 10, one of the Braves' patented one-run losses. Chuck got no decision after giving up 4 runs in 6 innings (Cole gave up 4 in 7), as the Braves defense hung the loss on Moylan, who gave up the winning run on a single, sac bunt, and a Yunel throwing error on a grounder to short. Hamels is having another terrific year this year, 4-3 with a 3.36 ERA in 8 starts. Against us, though, he's got a 4.42 ERA, 42-10 K/BB in 38 2/3 innings, and he's given up 8 homers of his own. So we have a chance tonight, if we bring out the whupping sticks. Let's go get 'em. Update: Crap, Chipper's been scratched.
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