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Philadelphia Phillies at Houston Astros 1:05 CDT

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Cole Hamels does not have a 'metal face' Chris Sampson needs a new picture
Cole Hamels Chris Sampson
9 - 4, 3.87 6 - 5, 4.15

Today is not only the 231st birthday of the country in which our beloved Astros play, it is also the 8th B-day of my cat Thurman, and the third anniversary of Chris Burke's major league debut.

And a quick look at the Astrosdaily calendar tells me that Craig Biggio set the club record with five runs scored on Independence Day in 1995, and that Nolan Ryan got his 3000th K in an otherwise uninspiring performance for the Stros on this date in 1980.

So hopefully Chris Burke in his leadoff role on the third birthday of his major league career and the rest of the Astros give us a performance that can hang with these today, and one that we can talk about next July 4th.

Another walkoff homer should do just fine.

Speaking of homers, man, Cole Hamels can give 'em up, huh? Even as he was handcuffing us last year, he gave up that super-monster shot to the now-departed Charlton Jimerson, you'll recall. And Hamels has given up as many jacks this year as Woody. 'Nuff said.

Last glaring factor is probably Chris. Not only is he coming off an uninspired start vs. the Rockies, it is the Phillies who handed him that awful team-low 9 game score back on April 23rd. 7 runs on 14 hits in four innings.

It's all about the sinker, I know. If it's down, Sampson can keep the Tigers in check; if not, he's gonna have trouble with the Nationals.

So what can I say? I hope it's down today.