A Night to Forget for Hamels

Terrible start last night for Cole Hamels.

He lasted just 2 2/3 innings in the 7-1 loss to the Mets. In 150 career starts, just five of his starts have been fewer than three innings. Two were related to rain delays. One happened because it was the last game of the season and the Phillies pulled him to keep him fresh for the playoffs.

So just twice in his career Hamels has been pulled before three innings for poor performance.

The first came Aug. 24, 2006, in an 11-2 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He allowed nine hits, nine runs, five earned runs and two home runs in two innings. But Hamels actually had a reason for his struggles: he had cut his left index finger before the start, making it difficult to grip and throw the ball.

Hamels offered no excuses last night. What was he going to say? He pitched poorly. And looking at the reasons for those other four starts, this could be called the worst start of his career.

Fans let him know. He was booed off the field.

Booed. Hamels. After one bad start. In April.

Really? Couldn’t have disagreed more with that. Hamels isn’t Adam Eaton. He actually cares. (Never saw more indifference from a pitcher in postgame interviews than Eaton.) He isn’t Freddy Garcia. He has a pretty significant history here. I know Philly fans are tough and they expect the best, but doesn’t a guy like Hamels get a mulligan in April? I know it was the Mets. I know it was an awful start. But Hamels isn’t Jose Mesa or Paul Abbott (remember him?). It’s not like it’s July and Hamels is carrying an Eaton-esque 6.50 ERA. The guy could throw a shutout Sunday against the Braves. He’s good.

A little bandwagon-y, if you ask me.

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35 Comments

Publicity is a double-edged sword. You can certainly pump up the season all you want to get fans in the seats and merch off the racks; but that publicity also sets high expectations that were certainly not met last night. I don’t agree with the boos, but let’s not act shocked here.

Yeah, I think it’s silly to boo anyone their first outing of the season. But, let’s not forget, we hate the Mets. I don’t think the fans mind losing so much as they mind a bad performance against a team (at least formerly) considered our nemesis. That being said, it doesn’t give any more credence to fan’s booing Cole.

Couldn’t agree more. Sad to say, it shows just how bandwagon-y some people are and how short of memories some of our “fans” have. It’s pathetic to boo the man who gave the city their first championship in 25 years after one bad start in the fourth game of the year. I’ll never understand the lack of love Hamels gets in Philly.

I didn’t even think Hamels pitched that poorly. A bunch of bloops, broken bats, and ground balls. He’ll be fine.

There’s a large sense of entitlement settling over Phillies fans. I fear Mr. Lee may be re-thinking his big decision by the end of the year.

Agreed. Booing was out of line for this situation. I think the loss was probably a good thing – everybody needs a reality check here. There’s so much hype out there, it’s hard not to to get caught up in it – but the team still needs to actually play the 162 games, and win enough of them to get to the playoffs. So let’s put this one behind us and focus on tonight’s game. Go Phillies!

We’ve spent decades with a reputation and you expect fans to go soft just because of a little success? That I don’t understand. Bandwagon is the stadium filling up with a bunch of “ILL” shirts who weren’t there in 1995 to boo. You boo sometimes because you have expectations, not because you don’t think a player is good.

Didn’t Charlie tell the media in 2009 that the fans had gone soft (after like an 8-13 start at home)?

Todd, didn’t you post an article just a few days ago about how hecklers helped motivate the team on opening day?

Let’s stop acting like a boo is some sort of dangerous assault on a human life. A boo is a boo, and it’s what we’ve done in every sport in this city for as long as I’ve been alive. It’s about expectations, and it’s why this city is great. If Cole can’t handle it, then he can go hang out with Scott Rolen….or he can pitch better next time and enjoy the rousing applause he is sure to get (and I’m certain enjoy). Cole Hamels is not being treated any different than Pat Burrell was, and Burrell put a full page add in the newspaper thanking us.

I would bet you the booing fans were the ones who went to spring training and saw Cole pitch during spring where he was awful (1-2, 6.67 ERA). And the other fans just were booing just for the heck of booing. Cole, I believe, is still working out the kinks this year. It might take him a few starts, but he’ll be the fourth ace everyone knows he is.

Booing is pointless and plain ol’ dumb. I would bet Halladay or Lee wouldn’t have received the same if they had a bad outing, for some reason too many Phils “fans” love to hate on Cole Hamels. It’s also not as if he got banged around…there were plenty of dunkers, a few broken bat hits, and enough seeing-eye base hits to seal his fate on this night. Was he wild? Yes. But, the booing was not warranted at all and it rarely ever is.

This is simply how it works….if you do poorly you get booed…if you do well you get cheered. Look at it as a situation to situation thing and stop taking it personal on behalf of Cole. His wrap is that he may be mentally soft, his responding next game and this season will prove he is not. He does not need to be defended, he just needs to go out and pitch better next time that’s all. Part of the greatness of being a Philly fan is that moment to moment passion. If you want people to pat him on the back like a little league-er who struck out to end the game then go move to a less intense fan base. There are only three athletes in this town I never saw booed (Clarke and Doc and Reggie). Players who get that mentality of the fan base end up being legends here even if they are not hall of famers (Jaws, Mitch etc…) Cole will be fine and if anything it will be useful…let Cole be a big boy!

I love the Phillies but the fans are jerks…well not all but majority..The booing is crazy…he had a bad game…so what…these guys are human…grow up people.

I was completely sickened by the crowd. We embarrassed ourselves. Pathetic. There was no reason to boo the 2008 WS MVP off the field last night. NO REASON. He had a bad start, in April. Our fans are hard to like sometimes.

This is the same Cole Hamels that said in 2009 that he couldn’t wait for the season to be over, right? During our playoff run, right? http://www.the700level.com/2009/11/cole-cant-wait-for-season-to-end-are-you-confident-in-hamels-as-a-game-7-starter.html

I don’t think it was too much for fans to boo him even if it was a bit much to do it in April. I love my team and he IS good but he also needs to take his skirt off and perform like the ace we all expect him to be.

Nobody’s jumping off the bandwagon. Booing is just a way for us to ventilate our frustrations. It’s nothing personal. Even the players understand that. I have never heard them complain about it. This team understands our passion!

Hamels is a poor cold weather pitcher and a slow starter. He’ll be fine. That being said, he gave up six runs in one inning and two hits to the pitcher. I booed his performance, which was clearly worthy of being booed.

SPOT ON. Hit the nail on the head with this one, I was so disappointed for Cole but hopefully he will use it as motivation.

The beauty of baseball is there is another game in a few hours and not much time to dwell on this defeat. Even if Cole had kept it down to a few runs the Phillies only crossed home plate once so would theoretically still have lost.
Bad night at the office but as already has been said it’s still early days and all teams in MLB are just finding their feet. The fact it was the Mets probably added volume to people boo’s but it was early in the game and would have sent a powerful message of support to the team (Not to mention Kendrick coming in to that hostile atmosphere) had he not been booed.

Hopefully the fans will get right behind Joe Blanton and the team tonight and make the bank really intimidating. Cole will be back…

I agree with your comment about the Phils having only scored once. The bigger concern for us phans should be the lousy run support Cole continues to get from his teammates. If they don’t start scoring more against the 4th-5th starters in other teams’ rotations, when ARE they going to show him some run support?

So, I suppose the appropriate response would have been to just sit there quietly while he walks off?
If fans cheer for good performances, what is the opposite of that?
And, I think too much was made of it. I’m waiting for the ESPN story saying what rotten fans you are.

I say “you” because I wasn’t there.

I’m with you, Todd. There was no excuse for the booing. Not for this pitcher (considering what he did for us in 2008, and what he will do later this year); not for this game (in April). But then, this isn’t really about Hamels — it’s about the fans needing the instant gratification, and knowing that THEY won’t be held accountable. I’m willing to bet that, if they had to face Hamels one-on-one, instead of being nameless faces in the crowd, instead of booing, they’d be gushing like little kids.

Wow, people forget where the heart of this fan base is… it’s honesty. And to be honest, he deserved to be booed. Cole gave up two hits in the same inning to the pitcher. It was Chris Young that drove the dagger home for this game driving in the run to make it 6-0 and that was what the booing was for. That and the fact that Hamels gave up six runs in three innings to (the fans) division rival. Yes it’s only April, but that passion when playing both good and bad is why players want to be here. Fans will cheer his next outing, unless he performs the same. Let’s also not forget that it was bad night weather wise as the wind and cold air were not friendly. Fans were upset to begin with. Being down 6-0 to the Mets with no momentum in sight brings out the boos.

I would normally defend Philly fans, but I just don’t get booing Cole in April. He had no control of his pitches, which is totally different from a lack of caring or effort. I also suppose it takes me more than a couple years and a few months for me to forget a cold, rainy night in October.

How old was Saint C. Lee, when he played so badly that he was sent down?

Nobody in Philly would have thought of booing Lee his first time out in April last weekend if his control eluded him, and he hasn’t won us a WFS …yet. Cole will most likely be fine.

To start I don’t think Hamels should be listed an “Ace” and last night proved it. I don’t think he should of been booed but I think everyone was really disappointed since let’s face it our real Ace’s did one hell of a job. Cole hasn’t been the same and everyone is entitled to have a bad day. Give the man a break

Nobody gets a Mulligan for their worst performance ever. I was there and I almost never boo, but after their pitcher got 2 hits in the same inning, that deserved a boo. Heck, Hamels would have booed himself. But I’ll be back to cheering for him next time I see him.

I’ve been a season ticket holder since 1981. I never boo Phillies players. But, I don’t begrudge any paying customer from voicing their displeasure (as long as it’s clean and hopefully funny.) It’s easy for you to be critical of fans. I’d love to know how many Phillies games you’ve actually paid to see. Not many, I’m sure. My tickets are $60 per seat. Also the fans who showed up on this night didn’t sit in a climate controlled press box. They shivered through a lack-luster, uninspired performance. From where I sit, they can do whatever they want. After all (again, as long as it’s clean) they paid for the priveledge.

I don’t think people were booing Hamels as much as they were booing the situation (not the idiot from Jersey shore). I was out there freezing my white butt off just hoping that the Phils could keep that winning streak alive. Haven’t started 3-0 for 40 years so it was a big moment and our 4th ace did NOT bring it. The offense didn’t help much either but Cole handed over the game in 2/3 of an inning. Second, it wasn’t really a booing as much as it was 43,000 people saying What the hell all at the same time. You should’ve heard the boos as they introduced Reyes, Beltran before the ball game. THOSE were boos. I know its early so all I can say is if Cole is our weakest link, that’s a really good place to be. Lets see what Blanton and Halladay can do to them. Eff New York!!

I want all of you fine, understanding people to remember not to complain the next time you get bad service at a restaurant, see a bad film or pay for something you didn’t get.
Sports is no different. if you pay for something and it isn’t delivered, you are entitled to express your displeasure, regardless of the time of year or their past performance.

Applaud your lousy waitress, the bad service on your automobile and leave a generous tip for a bad haircut. Won’t everybody feel better?

Sure.

Such a double edged sword. Naturally folks who went to the game wanted to see a better game (as did those of us watching at home). So you can’t blame them for booing. However, it is only game 4 and Hamels has certainly earned his strips. It was mentioned this a.m. on WIP if it would have been Doc Halladay or Cliff Lee whether the fans would’ve had the same reaction.

Nice to see so many new folks here at the Zo Zone!

Overall I like Hamels but last night he was simply Awful.. No player should ever get a free pass for being booed for playing terrible. The boos weren’t personal or meant to hurt him personally. He pitched bad- he was booed for it.. Everyone moves on.

The thing about it… booing is not a Philly thing. I’m a Phillies fan that lives and works in the NY/Metropolitan area. Even fans of the Evil Empire boo, plenty. I’ve heard Jeter get booed, on more than one occassion. And this is a guy who’s delivered a handful of championships to a city. Booing is part of the game, particularly in the Northeast, where fan bases are crazy passionate. Players are big boys, then can take it. If they can’t, the can move to Milwaukee and play with wussy pants Greinke. (btw… I don’t boo players, umpires and fans that drop easy foul balls, are a different story)

BTW, even though this was another “sellout” game, I never saw the stadium seats more than 2/3 full, so the people who toughed it out were expecting a more challenging game. We were sorely disappointed and it showed.

Well put, Todd, Well put.

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If the Phils had given Hamels the run support they did tonight he would have got the win. “It’s a funny old game”

Sorry Todd, not that I would have necessarily booed Cole Hamels in his first start of the season, but the phans paid for their tickets and are welcome to react to bad baseball. What did you want, a polite golf clap? Cole’s a big boy and he’s been in Philly long enough to know what to expect for bad baseball on a cold, uncomfortable night in early April.

Todd, this was one of the best discussions I’ve ever read on your blog. Lots of passion and opinions. Karen mentioned that it was nice to read so many comments from newcomers. I hope the y stay and make ZOZONE #1 again in 2011!!! Great work, keep it up!

Just like to add – in reference to Todd’s big wrap-up – he DID throw a shutout Sunday against the Braves. (okay, nitpickers, he didn’t finish the game and won’t get credit as such, but the Braves still ended with nothing on the scoreboard.)

Nice prediction, Todd!

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