If I were Cole Hamels, I’d be ticked off too.
Hamels left Marlins Park after last night’s infuriating 5-1 loss to the pathetic Fish without speaking to the media. Because really, what was there to say? Anything Hamels said to the media at that point surely would not have been good for anybody to hear.
Hamels could not be blamed for being furious at the team’s ridiculously awful offensive performance against one of the worst pitchers in the Majors, Alex Sanabia, who entered last night with a 2-6 record and a 5.00 ERA. He carried a WHIP of 1.455, was averaging just 5.6 K/9 and was giving up more than a hit per inning.
Former Phils reliever-turned Phillies post-game studio analyst Ricky Botallico summed it up best…
Alex Sanabi is not a good pitcher and “made the #phillies look stupid.” – Ricky Botallico
— Seamus Doyle (@saintseamus) May 21, 2013
Of course, pretty much every pitcher makes the Phillies look stupid these days.
The Phils allowed Sanabia to pitch into the 7th inning and scored just one earned run on seven hits, with that run coming on a laser-beam home run by Domonic Brown. Other than that, the Phils went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and hit into two double plays, enabling Sanabia to escape damage all night long.
But the real story was the Phils inability to score any runs for Hamels, who was fantastic on Monday night. Cole pitched six innings (he would have gone more but was pulled for a pinch-hitter with runners and first and third with one out – the Phillies did not score), and gave up just two runs on seven hits, struck out 10 and walked none.
If there was any good news to be taken out of last night’s debacle, Hamels’ performance was it.
“Actually this was a nice breakthrough for him,” pitching coach Rich Dubee said. “His stuff was electric tonight. He was 93 to 95.
“He’d been a little tense [in previous starts]. There’s a lot of things going on. He’s an accountable guy. He’s got the new contract. Roy [Halladay] going down. That puts a little burden on him. Not winning games. It’s weighed on him. But I thought tonight he was exceptional.”
“Again, I think today was a big breakthrough,” Dubee said. “I think you saw electric stuff. I think it got to the point where instead of pitching away from bats and worrying about not getting runs, he got back into the mode of attacking hitters. No walks, one three-ball count. That’s Cole Hamels’ style.” – quotes per CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury
Yet, Hamels’ record now stands at 1-7, and the Phillies are 1-9 in games in which he has started. The Phillies have scored just 20 runs in the 62 2/3 innings that Hamels has pitched this season.
“Ten Ks and no walks and we only put up one run,” said Domonic Brown. “That’s very tough on me and I’m pretty sure it’s tough on everyone else in here. We’ve just got to do a better job.”
Here’s the problem. There is no better. This IS the Phillies offense. This is how it’s going to be all season, barring major changes.
So yes, frustration has set in. That will happen when your team fails to win games they absolutely HAVE to win if they’re going to be a playoff team.
Miami is 13-32 on the season, yet 4-4 versus the Phillies. Not only that, after last night’s game, the Marlins have a run differential of -69, second-worst in baseball, yet they have outscored the Phillies 28-20 in their eight meetings so far this year.
What… is… going… on?
Now, the Phils have to be worried about Hamels’ mindset after another frustrating loss for the ace left-hander, as manager Charlie Manuel noted after the game.
“Yeah, I’m worried about that,” Manuel said. “I think Cole expects to be the big pitcher on our team and he expects to win and it’s hard not to get upset when you … He pitched good tonight. But at the same time, he needs some runs.”
Where It All Went Wrong
In the top of the 7th, down 2-1, the Phils had runners on 1st and 3rd with one out and the pitcher’s spot due up. Manuel decided to pinch-hit for Hamels – which was the right move – with Laynce Nix. Nix failed to get the runner in from 3rd with less than two out, flying out to shallow right field. Jimmy Rollins then followed with a groundout, stranding both runners. The Phils then handed the game over to a less-than-stellar bullpen, who then proceeded to turn a one-run game into a four-run rout.
Hamels, who finally looked like himself last night for the first time all year. Of course, one hopes his frustrations don’t boil over onto the field, an issue that has reared its head in past seasons for Cole.
Everyone not named Domonic Brown who held a bat for the Phillies last night.