Hamels Takes A Step Back

hamels 0423 2010.jpgNo question Cole Hamels took a step backward last night in a 7-4 loss to the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. After he retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, he allowed four home runs to the next nine batters he faced.

Hamels is 12-13 with a 4.41 ERA in the regular season since 2008. He has allowed 31 homers, which is tied for the seventh-most in baseball. His ERA ranks 61st out of 88 pitchers who have thrown at least 163 innings.

“I’m not [frustrated],” Hamels said when asked how he was handling his ongoing inconsistencies. “I still feel good. It’s just a matter of making effective pitches and avoiding the big inning.”

Conclusions you can draw?

You certainly can be discouraged and frustrated, but it’s too early to draw any conclusions. (I’m trying to talk Phillies fans off the ledge on a Saturday morning.) The Phillies gave Chan Ho Park seven starts last season before they concluded he should be in the bullpen. Joe Blanton was 2-3 with a 7.11 ERA after eight starts last season, but went 10-5 with a 3.16 ERA the rest of the year. So let’s first see where Hamels is after eight or nine starts. And even then … chill.


I will be signing copies of my book beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Barnes & Noble in Rittenhouse Square. I’ll also be signing books beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday in the clubhouse store at Citizens Bank Park. The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.


It’s a “step back” only if you believe that his prior performance was the real Cole. Personally, I think he’s over-rated and that the real Cole is a 12-12 pitcher who has flashes of brilliance.
He leaves way too many balls up in the strike zone with no movement to suit me.
He still has plenty to prove, and that’s saying a lot for a guy with a World Series MVP. Of course, Jermaine Dye, David Eckstein, Mike Lowell and Troy Glaus won a Series MVP awards too, so …
Hence the “Flashes of Brilliance” comment.

“avoiding the big inning.” (?) What’s a 5-run 4th if not a big inning? I’d hate to see his idea of a big inning.

It’s too early to tell yet, this season is definitely the make it or break it season for Cole, most greats have a bad season, his was 2009, if this is a bad one too, he’s not what he’s been pumped up to be, but still he can pitch… Halladay is the only one so far not to have one of those big innings, almost all the Phillies loses can be attributed to a one inning onslaught… that’s crazy

Phillies Outside

Mitch Wiliams (on MLB Network) said that all four HRs that Cole gave up came off his cutter. If Ruiz saw that Cole’s cutter wasn’t cutting or that hitters were not fooled by it, he should have stopped calling for it in the strikezone. Cole’s cutter was relatively effective in his last outing, so I’m not sure if he should stop throwing it and just work on perfecting his curve.
In my heart, I feel that Cole is tipping his pitches. When he threw just a fastballs, change-ups, and very occasional curves, he was effective because all those pitches were coming out of the same arm slot. Something tells me that the cutter isn’t. The way I see it, the D-Back hitters went once through their line-up, compared notes and had a game plan the next time they went around: attack the cutter.

I lost track of how many excuses were in that last post. Five? Six?

I can understand it taking a few times through the batting order or even a few games for the opposition get a read on a new pitcher but three seasons as in the case of Hamels? And, why is adding a new pitch the solution? Similarly, the Phillies road the back of Kendrick for a season and a half before it dawned on someone that he too needed another pitch? Am I detecting a pattern here? You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear but has Rich Dubee done anything to help these guys?

If they really needed to trade a pitcher in the offseason in order to reload the farm system, maybe it should have been Hamels instead of Lee. He was probably still highly thought of at the time and they could have tried to extend Lee isntead of paying Hamels over 16 million for the next two years, plus whatever they have to pay him in his last arby year.

Todd’s right, it’s too EARLY to write the guy off, YET. If by the ALL STAR break, he’s still struggling, you can consider trading him in the off season. The guy is a good, NOT great pitcher , at this point. His K’s to BB rate was good last year and is not bad this year, either. Yes, he does give UP too many longballs but rarely does he give up a LOT of hits in an inning. The NL has adjusted to him since 2008. It’s time for him to re adjust. He’s probably a #3 guy in a championship rotation. But he’s being paid more so if he does not right the ship by season’s end, he likely will be traded. He’s still young and not as bad as too many overly emotional phillies fans seem to think. We’ll see what happens.

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