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Mets-Phillies postponed by rain

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Phillies' game against the New York Mets was postponed by rain Wednesday, affording Phils manager Ryne Sandberg the opportunity to juggle his pitching rotation for a weekend series against the Washington Nationals in Citizens Bank Park.

With two off days already scheduled this week, Sandberg had previously decided to skip Friday's usual turn by No. 5 starter Roberto Hernandez. Now he has elected to bypass No. 4 starter Kyle Kendrick as well.

Kendrick (0-2, 3.52) had been scheduled to face Bartolo Colon (2-3, 4.50) on Wednesday, in a game that will now be played June 2.

That sets up three potentially great pitching matchups for the series against Washington: Cliff Lee (3-2, 3.29) vs. Stephen Strasburg (2-2, 4.24) on Friday, A.J. Burnett (1-1, 2.15) vs. Tanner Roark (2-0, 2.76) on Saturday and Cole Hamels (0-2, 6.75) vs. Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 3.25) on Sunday.

Lee has been his usual effective self to date, and since being diagnosed with an inguinal hernia on April 14 Burnett has fashioned an 0.83 ERA in three starts. Hamels, a veteran left-hander, is still playing catch-up, after missing the season's first three weeks with biceps tendinitis in his pitching arm.

Hamels made his second start of the season, and his first at home, on Tuesday night against the Mets, absorbing a 6-1 loss in which he lasted just 4 2/3 innings and allowed six runs on eight hits. Hamels, who was seeking his 100th career victory, struck out three and walked five, while also hitting a batter.

The walk total was one shy of Hamels' career high. Four of the bases on balls came in New York's two-run fourth, the last a bases-loaded pass to pitcher Jonathon Niese.

Hamels admitted he was affected by the raw, blustery conditions.

"The elements got the best of me today -- just for the fact of not being able to locate pitches and not being able to throw strikes or even apply a plan of attack to hitters," he said. "When you're not able to execute it creates a serious issue, and it did. It led to a very poor performance. From my standpoint I'm truly embarrassed, because I didn't really give anyone a chance, because balls weren't even being put in play, because I wasn't able to allow them to be put in play. ... When you're walking that many guys and allowing the runs to score, you don't give your team a chance to win in that case."

NOTES: Mets 2B Daniel Murphy, who went 3-for-5 Tuesday to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, has hit safely in 20 of the 24 games in which he has appeared this season. ... Phils 1B Ryan Howard went 2-for-4 Tuesday, and has hit safely in nine straight games against the Mets. He has also reached base in his last 26 games in Citizens Bank Park.
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