Hamels or Lee in Game 1?
Who should it be?
Hamels pitched Saturday, which means he would be pitching on short rest — something he has never done in his career. But he also threw just 47 pitches, which are fewer pitches than he throws in a typical bullpen session. Hamels went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in last year’s playoffs. He earned World Series and National League Championship Series MVP honors. He proved himself to be a big-game pitcher. But he also went just 10-11 with a 4.32 ERA this season, and is 0-2 with a 7.02 ERA in his last three starts. His season ERA is the 11th highest in the National League out of 46 pitchers.
Lee has not pitched since Thursday. He is well rested. He also is well motivated to pitch in the postseason for the first time in his career. He went 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 12 starts with the Phillies, but is just 2-4 with a 6.13 ERA in his last seven starts. He looked a little better in his last start, despite giving up four runs.
Hamels or Lee? I wouldn’t be surprised either way, but I think Lee makes more sense. He is rested and ready. Hamels, even though he threw just 47 pitches, has never come back on short rest. It might not be worth taking Hamels out of his routine with a guy like Lee just as capable of pitching Game 1.