Few things in the sports are more reliably and depressingly predictable than the arc of a young Philadelphia prospect. Philly fans start salivating when they initially hear about a guy, start shaking uncontrollably a few weeks before his debut, are screaming at a fever pitch once he's finally on the field and are booing within the month. It's a fun cycle. Usually they're Rolen-ed out of town by the time they're actually useful.
Tonight's victim: Star lefthander Cole Hamels, who is one of those scary "injury-prone phenoms," takes the hill against the Reds. The Phillies are just three games behind the Mets and are showing just enough promise to get Charlie Manuel fired come October.
How are the Phillies bloggers hanging in?
• Mash: "Is he the phenom who saves the ballclub? Is he the talented youngster thwarted by injury? Is he just happy to be here?"
• A Citizen's Blog: " I question the wisdom of sending a rookie out to pitch his first game on the road, and against a team leading the NL in OBP, slugging percentage, isolated power, and runs scored, in a park that was rated the second easiest park to score a run or hit a home run in. I think this is shaping up to be a disaster."
• Cole Hamels Owns Chuck Norris: "Cole is 100 feet tall. Sal Fasano is afraid of Cole Hamels. Hamels is a sure thing. Only some sort of freak injury or something could keep him from saving the franchise. And we know that will never happen. Cole K's men by the hundreds. And if HE were in the MAJORS (read: when he's in the majors), he'd consume the METS with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse. "
Yeah. Nothing could possibly go wrong here.