The Collapse of Cole Hamels
Neither was Hamels.
“That’s been the story of my whole season,” he said following the 8-5 loss to the Yankees at Citizens Bank Park. “I can cruise through hitters and then all of a sudden — boom. I don’t hit a small speed bump. I hit a big one.”
Asked about the last pitch to Mark Teixeira in the fourth inning that resulted in a walk, which led to a two-run home run from Alex Rodriguez, Hamels said, “It was a strike. It’s the story of my season.”
He thought Rodriguez’s home run was a pop up.
“For it to go over the fence … you know what?” he said. “This is the park I play in, so I definitely know to expect this.”
But then came an intresting comment as he talked about a season that has been a struggle since spring training. Hamels, who is 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four postseason starts, told reporters, “I can’t wait for it to end. It’s been mentally draining. It’s one of those things where, a year in, you just can’t wait for a fresh start.”
Hamels lines up to pitch Game 7 at Yankee Stadium, if the series gets that far. Charlie Manuel and Rich Dubee have to wonder how confident they can be sending him out there? Hamels is 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four postseason starts and he does not sound like a confident man. Asked if he would feel comfortable pitching Hamels in Game 7, Manuel would not commit.
“I wouldn’t be hesitant to start him,” he said. “But at the same time, we’ll see how the series goes.”
But after sounding like a mentally beaten man, Hamels also said he would like the chance.
“I really do hope I have that opportunity,” he said. “It’s one of those games that you can definitely redeem yourself. I would know it’s the very last game that I would ever have that season. It’s not the type of game you want to have in your last game. It’s just kind of something where if you could end it on a good note, why not? Having a Game 7 opportunity that would be mean a lot. I hope my teammates believe in me and want me to be out there for it.”
If the series gets to Game 7 — Hamels put the Phillies in the difficult position of having to win three of four games against the Yankees — the Phillies have two options: Hamels or J.A. Happ. Do they stick with Hamels, or do they look at what they have seen and heard and take their chances with Happ?
Of course, before we get in a lather about Game 7, Joe Blanton must outpitch CC Sabathia tonight in Game 4.
Teams that fall behind 2-1 in the World Series are 26-55.
Jayson Werth has seven home runs this postseason. He would tie Barry Bonds (2002) and Carlos Beltran (2004) for the single-season playoff home run record with one more homer.
It certainly would help if more than Werth were hitting. Jimmy Rollins (.200), Shane Victorino (.182), Chase Utley (.182), Ryan Howard (.154) and Pedro Feliz (.091) are struggling. Werth (.400), Carlos Ruiz (.333) and Raul Ibanez (.250) are the only players hitting .250 or better.