Cole Cool with Game 3

Thumbnail image for hamels 0821.jpgIt’s Pedro Martinez in Game 2 of the World Series, which means Cole Hamels will pitch Game 3 on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Charlie Manuel said he wanted to split up his left-handed pitchers against the Yankees, which makes sense. But you’ve also got to think if Hamels were pitching better that he would be pitching Game 2.

Hamels said he is OK with that.

“It’s an honor to pitch. It’s an honor to pitch at home,” Hamels said. “Any time you get to pitch at home, I think it’s great. Especially Game 3. Game 3 is very important. Jamie (Moyer)showed us how important it was last year. That could turn a series. You know what? I think it’s going to be just as important as Game 1 or Game 2 or Game 4 or Game 5. I think this is going to be nice to have the home crowd and no DH. I couldn’t ask for a better scenario.”

Rich Dubee said last week that it seems most of Hamels’ problems have been mental. Maybe he is putting too much pressure on himself. Maybe he has been too concerned with trying to match last season’s postseason numbers.

Hamels went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five postseason starts last year. He is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three postseason starts this year.

“When you have success early you want to continue it,” he said. “You put a little bit too much pressure on trying to be that guy all the time, instead of just letting it happen. … I’ve never gone through the struggles that I have, but I haven’t had a long career yet. I’ve been able to talk to Pedro and Jamie and Cliff (Lee). They’ve had their ups and downs. It’s how you learn to deal with it. I think they understand when you do great things people expect it to happen. All of a sudden you do kind of get wrapped up in expecting it to happen and it can really throw you off your game. I think it has to a point. I don’t want to make excuses. I haven’t been able to do my job as well as I would like, and it’s something that I’m fighting to be that caliber player that everybody expects me to be. But at the same time, I’m not going to put too much stress on it anymore because I’ve gotten myself in trouble when I try to expect too much.”


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Does it take Dubee the first game of the world series to figure out what most of us have been saying all year. Cole never needed a pitching coach, he needed a shrink so he wouldn’t self destruct. We saw how he carries on when he’s not getting the strike zone, after team mates flub a play, and complaining about pitching in the daytime. Despite all that, I love the guy, but somebody dropped the ball on that project early on in the season. I heard comments from Charlie that he’s OK and will play through it, but in my opinion, some divine intervention should have been done earlier. We forget how young he is. Maybe the team was getting him some help and we just don’t know what. I think game three is the right game for Cole. I’d bet there are a lot of team mates happy to see Myers on the roster too.

Anyone know what’s the latest regarding Game 1 and weather? I have tix to Game 1. The rain isn’t hard but it’s steady here in NY. They already moved the Jay-Z and Alicia Keys performance to Thursday.

He doesn’t need a shrink, he needs the ear of the baseball gods. All valuable analyses have demonstrated he pitched just as well this year as last – same K rate, same walk rate, same flyball/linedrive/groundball ratios, he just got less lucky with where the balls were landing.
Oh and he wasn’t complaining about pitching in the daytime, he was complaining about the MLB disrespecting the reigning World Champs with piece of **** start times for games 1 and 2 of the DS, which is what every other Philly fan was doing. Go back and read what he said. Man you guys have selective hearing.

barbecoa: The chance of rain drops significantly in the Bronx by 8:00pm. There is a 50% chance at 6:00 but only a 20% chance through midnight, so I’d suspect they will play, but you should pack for a light rain. Temperatures will be around 50 degrees with a 14 mph wind, making it feel like 45.

Luck is undeniable muleman, do the ******* math or just admit that you ignore statistics and don’t pretend you’re making an informed statement.

Whether he was complaining about disprespect or playing in the daytime is irrelevant. He obviously doesn’t like it and the numbers back it up. He’s an 0-fer for day games in 2009 and all his numbers suffer in comparison to day games.
Cole’s a head job and there is no question that he let things get to him this year. Body language tells it all.

Here we go with the “luck” thing again. To my eye, Cole’s so-so season has more to do with him not being able to go deep into games like he has in the past. He’s pitched into the fourth inning 3 times, into the fifth inning 7 times and a bunch more where he failed to get through 6. His “per nine innings” numbers are skewed with a strong start and a lousy inning at the end that forces him to leave the game (happily at least once).

I only wish we could attribute it to something as specious as luck, but to me it’s more an issue of arm strength and stamina which are probably the result of his rubber chicken circuit after last year’s WS MVP tour. Luck has nothing to do with training and preparation.

Cole’s velocity has been off and obviously his location hasn’t been that great either. As others have stated, he also seems to get a bit rattled when things start to go south. Probably like Dubee and Hamels have said, he puts a lot of pressure on himself and gets frustrated when things don’t go his way.

Read a great article about Lidge in the Inky this a.m. If you get a chance, I recommend it. He’s really an interesting person and has a great outlook on things. Hamels should seek his counsel also.

Thanks. Looks like they’re gung-ho about playing tonight. It’s gonna be soggy.

Re: Cole. Bottom line is he’s not pitching as well as we would like right now. I’d rather have him at home with the pitcher batting than against the Yanks and their DH. Minimize the damage. Maximize the potential return.

Nice to have phylan, a voice of reason, on this board. Everybody’s right though, imo, because Cole has been getting unlucky and rattled as a result. Is getting rattled making him pitch worse? Hard to tell. Tough to think of a good statistical test for that too… numbers with runners on base this year vs. last might approximate it. I think the Game 2 vs. Game 3 decision is a toss-up and I trust Charlie, so whatever. Need the bats to start hot and stay hot! LETS GO PHILS!!!

I’d rather rely on my own observations (and some statistics) than anything as ignorant and random as luck. Sorry, but people who complain about “bad luck” are just excuse makers and are looking for a reason that they either failed to prepare or do whatever was necessary to succeed.
Go on believing that luck influences your life and you’ll continue to be in the dark.

Besides, Cole was 14-10 last year, so we’re not exactly talking about Steve Carlton here. If all his numbers are the same, as you say they are, then he’s losing because he isn’t pitching deep enough into games. He breezes along for a few innings and stumbles onto a bad inning which screw-up the analysis. Luck has nothing to do with it.

For one game or even five you could make some sort of screwy case, but over the long course of a baseball season, you really have to find a more logical solution than luck. It only makes sense, unless your head is so far up your a** that you could fail to reason it out properly.

Luck has nothing to do with long-term success. Was Ty Cobb lucky for 20 years? Willie Mays, Jim Palmer, etc. There’s a difference between being good and being bad, and it’s not luck. Otherwise, guys like Paul Bako would hit .350 once in their lifetime. But they don’t because they’re not good enough. Guys like Hamels will be near .500 pitchers until they realize they have to prepare and train, while guys like you make excuses for him and claim luck isn’t on his side. That’s nonsense.

For what it’s worth, in 2009 batters hit .272/.305/.449 with runners on base against Cole, which matches his overall season numbers, with the same abnormally high BABIP (.323).

Phillies in 7.

For what it’s worth, Cole pitched almost a full inning more per-start in 2008 than he did this season. 6.9 IPS in 2008 vs. 6.0 in 2009. He’s getting hit in the middle innings which to me points to a conditioning and stamina problem.

In innings 4 to 6 opponents are hitting .310 against him with a .690 OPS, as opposed to .242 in innings 1-3 with an .836 OPS in roughly the same number of plate appearances.

I guess that’s luck too, right? Give me a break.

That should have been a .242 and .690 OPS in innings 1-3 and
a .310 and .836 OPS in innings 4-6. I got my OPS’s mixed up.

muleman, I don’t know where to start if you don’t believe luck plays a significant role in baseball and life. The Drunkard’s Walk by Leonard Mlodinow is a great book that addresses both.

What you’re not understanding is that hits are subject to luck. A pitcher can induce a certain ratio of groundballs/flyballs, and if his stuff is good he can keep the line drives (the most profitable hit type) down to a certain percentage. For Cole, these percentages have been the same in 2009 as they have in 2008.
But a pitcher cannot control WHERE these hits land, and neither can a hitter, with the exception of trying to pull inside pitches and go the other way on outside pitches. Therefore, a line drive hit right to a fielder is unlucky for a batter, and a bloop flyball single is unlucky for a pitcher. What problem do you have with this?

I mean for god’s sake, just ask the players. They will tell you the same thing.

Oh my god why are you bringing up random historical baseball players? I’m talking about THIS SEASON, wherein Cole Hamels has been quite unlucky (BABIP of .321). Last year he was quite lucky (BABIP of .262). These numbers regress to around .300 for ALL PITCHERS, because they have NO CONTROL over it. This is entirely the difference between his 2009 season and his 2008 season. All of the other meaningful metrics which he actually has control over are the same. You think Cole Hamels doesn’t train and prepare? He’s a major league baseball player, are you out of your ******* mind? Look at the facts and spare me your folksy aphorisms that only attempt to conceal the fact that you are full of ****.

I’m glad I was the first poster who got ridiculed by muleman for claiming that luck was a key aspect for an earlier game. In sports, millimeters determine the results, from a kick that is 6 inches wide of a goal post to homerun that could’ve been a foul ball or a pop out. At the speeds that athletes move, 100% is virtually impossible in sports. Now what percentage and higher should exclude luck? 50%? 70%? muleman says 0%. Remember, “catch a break” means get lucky, too.

That’s the thing, is that not only does luck exist, but you don’t even have to guess at it; it’s actually very measurable in baseball (and only baseball, in particular) in the form of BABIP and such. But muleman always ignores those parts, conveniently.

I mean I would love for muleman to explain why BABIP does not correlate at all from year to year, and regresses to .300 for 99% of pitchers without fail, if it was actually controllable by pitchers, but he’ll probably just stomp around and say LA LA LA LUCK IS FOR LOSERS WHAT ABOUT TY COBB bla bla bla

phylan: I love the way you just bypass my statistical info about how Cole tires after 3 innings and go right back to your claptrap about luck.
The reason I brought up “random players” (Random Hall of Famers) is that if baseball is about luck, how do you explain long-term success or failure? You can’t, which is why you’re an idiot who leans on luck to explain what your pea brain cannot.
Explain to me how some guys can go through an entire career and hit .300 and other guys can’t get above .220 even ONCE. Luck? Not over 10 years or 20 years. There’s a reason some guys are in the Hall and other guys are buying tickets to get in.

Luck is the language of losers, and I’m glad I don’t understand the language you speak.
Luck is only measureable in baseball? Really? What about hockey, basketball and football? Luck or skill?

zach: I don’t know where to start if you DO believe that luck plays a significant role in baseball and life. You said SIGNIFICANT, right? You’re a clown. Go through life wearing rally caps, asking for luck and praying for junk and you’ll be forever waiting.

erichh: I’m not talking about 100%, but phylan is basing an entire seaon’s performance on luck, and that’s ridiculous. I’m saying Cole’s mediorce season is a result of his lack of preparation and training. He gets tired and careless after 3 or 4 innings. The numbers show it.

There are fielders who contribute to your so-called luck. They aren’t out there standing around. They play in certain places because batters hit the ball in certain places. That’s called preparation, not luck.

muleman: Have you had a traumatic brain injury? Luck is something that can’t be controlled, THAT’S PART OF THE DEFINITION. So of course I don’t wear a rally cap or pray or do any other dumb **** that can’t possibly have any effect on the game. Please read The Drunkard’s Walk, you might learn something.

muleman you are not reading anything I am writing. Luck is not something I pulled out of my ***, you can measure it with metrics like BABIP. I didn’t ignore your stats, they’re just subject to the same BABIP distortions that his overall stats are. You have to look at statistics like FIP, or QERA, or something similar, which factor out things like luck and the defense behind a pitcher, and focus on what
the pitcher himself controls.

Talking about long-term career numbers, even though it is totally irrelevant to this discussion, only bolsters my point. Over a large enough sample size, luck normalizes, which is why all pitchers see their BABIPs regress to .300. Great pitchers are great because they strike out a lot of batters, walk very few, and surrender few home runs. INDIVIDUAL SEASONS can look mediocre/bad/very bad in a pitcher’s career because in that smaller sample size his luck was bad. This is what is happening with Cole right now, in this one season, and it’s very measurable. I have given you, in this thread, many numbers which prove it. I can provide more if you would like.

Eric Bruntlett or whatever example you want to use will never have a career OPS+ above 100 because he sucks, and no amount of luck can correct that. He could have, if he got lucky, one season with a 100 OPS+ or similar, if a lot more of his balls in play fell for hits than usual (a BABIP well over .300). But over the course of his career, that BABIP will normalize and he’ll obviously be a terrible hitter.
That’s why it’s important to understand what I’m saying – that in this PARTICULAR 2009 SEASON, Cole Hamels is having very very bad luck, resulting in his poor ERA. The things he does that are not subject to luck – strikeouts, walks, hit type ratios – have not altered from 2008, and I’d like you to explain that. Answer any of the questions I posed in my last few posts or stop acting like I’M the idiot. I know you won’t, and you’ll just say luck is for losers and it’s fake and not real despite all the evidence I’m providing, but I’m just going out on a limb here and assuming (probably incorrectly) that you’re not totally full of sh*t.

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