Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hamels falters again in loss

Cole Hamels just can't figure out where his past success on the rubber has gone. He struggled against a battered Mets' lineup last night, falling to 7-8 on the season.

His changeups were hanging and his fastball was down and in the zone, a lethal combination against any Major League lineup. Hamels was and has been throwing strikes, but his location is off. Carlos Ruiz was standing, asking for the ball high and out of the zone on a particular pitch to Jeff Francoeur in the third inning. Instead, Hamels grooved a fastball right down the middle as 'Frenchy' blasted it out to left.

Hamels hit two batters, opposing pitcher Mike Pelfrey and Fernando Tatis with two strikes; as Cole continued to miss his spots. On a side note, what in the world is Pelfrey thinking in getting angry about the beaning. He threw his bat in disgust and exchanged words with Hamels as he walked down the first base line, as if Hamels would actually hit him in that spot on purpose. Just one more thing about the Mets, they don't understand the games or situations. Pelfrey should have been excited; his on base percentage rose and the beaning put a runner in scoring position who would come around to score.

The Phillies need Hamels to get it straight in time for the postseason. He was dominant on the mound last October, and the team needs to hand him the ball in crucial playoff games, knowing he is going to get the job done. Unfortunately, he's pitching like he'd barely make the team's four man playoff rotation. Cliff Lee is pitching as the ace of the staff, J.A. Happ and Joe Blanton have been excellent start after start, leaving Hamels, based on his performance, at the bottom of the rotation.

Hamels has between eight and ten starts remaining in the regular season to right the ship. If he falters, the Phils' October schedule may come to a quick and abrupt finish.

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