From Ken Rosenthal:
As we noted recently, it’s never a good idea to get worked up over waivers or even waiver claims in August. The practical effect of this is, if the Phillies do want to trade Hamels, they have to deal with the claiming team. Given that the Phillies were asking an arm and a leg for Hamels in July — and rightfully so — it’s highly unlikely one team, bidding against no one else, is going to offer the kind of package the Phillies need to let Hamels go. He’ll almost certainly be pulled back and no deal made. No harm, no foul.
The question I have — and I’ll note that, no, it’s not a terribly important question, just one that popped into my head — is whether the Phillies actually thought one of the better pitchers in baseball would clear waivers, thereby allowing them to deal with any team they wanted? If they didn’t, why bother, for the reasons stated above. If they did think that, well, we’ll just say that we hope they didn’t think that.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.