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09/12/07 8:52 PM ET
Notes: Hamels closer to rejoining club
Staff ace feels confident that he will start on Sept. 18 vs. Cards
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Cole Hamels is 30 pitches closer to re-joining the starting rotation. The lefty emerged from a bullpen session feeling confident that he'll start Sept. 18 in St. Louis, assuming there are no setbacks in his throwing sessions this week or Saturday's simulated game at Shea Stadium. Hamels threw 25 fastballs and five changeups. He'll mix in curveballs on Saturday. "It was feeling good when I was letting it go and I wasn't feeling any pinch," Hamels said. "The first couple I tried to let go, just so I could see if [discomfort] was still there, and I didn't feel anything. Now I know I can go out there and contribute." Hamels said he was impressed with his location, crisp despite the layoff, and said he hopes to throw 50 pitches on Saturday, then 55-70 in Tuesday's game and ramp up to 100 by his third and final start of the regular season. But St. Louis is first. "That's my goal," Hamels said. "Hopefully, that'll get everybody excited on the team, because I know I will be. I know these guys want me to pitch because I've had a tremendous season so far. We're getting down to the nitty-gritty time and you want to go out and pitch like you have all year." I'm fine. No, you're not: Shane Victorino felt another grab in his right calf, and found himself on the bench Wednesday. The speedy outfielder pinch-hit in the ninth inning and felt something when grounding out, and said after the game that he was ready for action. "I feel like I'm good to go," Victorino said. "It's just going to be this way for the rest of the year." As he's done since Victorino returned, manager Charlie Manuel is being extra careful, in an attempt to keep his sparkplug as healthy as possible. "He's not playing because he felt something when he hit the ball [Tuesday] night," Manuel said. "He keeps going back and forth. Every time he gets in a game, he grabs his calf. It's not that I don't want to play him. When I see a guy grab his leg and hobbling around, I think he's hurt." Moyer recognized: Jamie Moyer was honored before Wednesday's game, and received two awards for his continuing commitment to community service. The veteran lefty won the seventh Annual Phillies Community Service Award and is the team's nominee for Major League Baseball's annual Roberto Clemente Award. Moyer, who won the Clemente Award in 2003, while with the Mariners, has worked tirelessly with "Camp Erin," a bereavement camp he and his wife Karen started in 2000. The camp provides comfort and assistance to children ages 6-17 who have lost a loved one. On Aug. 6, the Moyers raised nearly $250,000 when they hosted a "Celebrity Waiters" event for Camp Erin. Several of Moyer's teammates and Phillies executives participated. Moyer also teamed with Citizens Bank and Philabundance this season for their "Carve Out Hunger" program, and greeted fans donating food at the gates prior to two Phillies games. Coming up: J.D. Durbin, who is scheduled to face left-hander Jeff Francis in the series finale, was hurt by two second-inning errors against the Marlins on Friday, yielding three unearned runs. Still, the righty has an 18.69 ERA in September and hasn't reached the fifth inning in either of his two starts this month. Durbin will face Rockies ace Jeff Francis at 7:05 p.m. ET in the series finale.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.