Cole Hamels' struggles in the city of New York continue. The All-Star left-hander is now a stinging 1-10 lifetime in starts made on the road in NY.
Coming off his only career win against the Mets at Citi Field—or Shea, for that matter—back in May, Hamels was on the hook for a total of seven runs Saturday. His final line would read:
4.1 IP, 8H, 7ER, 4BB, 3K.
Though the seventh run would cross thanks to the very first pitch thrown by reliever David Herndon, Hamels obviously bore responsibility for the runner, resulting in the seven earned. Danys Baez would go on to cough up four extra in the seventh. Final score: 11-2.
Now, in fairness to Hamels, one of those runs—the first allowed—should be wiped from the total. Cole's first run surrendered came on an infield fly with two outs in the first. What looked like a routine fly ball was was bungled by a miscommunication between Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Either both or neither took responsibility for the catch, allowing the ball to drop and Carlos Beltran-substitute Scott Hairston—who, by the way, frigging torched the Phillies pitchers for 3H, 2R, 5RBI and 1HR—to score from second. Forget Beltran and Ludwick, get me Scott Hairston! Kidding. Sorry. Way too soon.
Replays showed a visibly upset Hamels screaming "Come on!" and other choice phrases in the direction of his infielders, a scene eerily and unfortunately reminiscent of a similar incident in the 2009 playoffs.
While we certainly remember Hamels catching his fair share of flack for that outburst way back when, this particular scenario seemed to merit his outrage. In terms of immediate electronic feedback, some of our readers (see comments) and even our own Penn State football contributor and Examiner.com college football guru Kevin McGuire were quick to defend Cole. Via Kevin's Twitter @KRMcGuire: "Cole Hamels had every right to be upset about that. It's been a while since he showed up his teammates like that." "And for the record, I'm on the side of Cole Hamels there."
Cole's been called out for these sort of reactions in the past, but has been widely considered to have matured over the last two seasons. It's tough to know whether the play—which unfortunately, albeit correctly, was not ruled an error—had anything to do with the rest of his performance. He started out his typically dominant self, locating 18 of his first 20 pitches for strikes, but would grow increasingly unable to find the plate as time went on. Four walks in one game is certainly an anomaly for Cole, who entered the game third in the National League in fewest base on balls allowed per game.
Maybe it was the flubbed fly ball. Maybe it would have been a bad day anyway. Maybe he should have composed himself after the error that wasn't an error. Maybe he had every right to be upset. We'll let you decide for yourselves.
Whichever way you slice it, Cole cracked just the slightest smirk during a conversation with manager Charlie Manuel in the dugout moments after receiving the yank. Translation: Kid'll be fine, no one likes New York.
As for the rest of the Phils, there's not much to be said (solid analysis, great writing, you're welcome). Starter Jonathan Niese tapped into some of his past performances against the Phillies and stymied the lineup for the better part of seven innings. While he would give up two in the seventh thanks in part to a Robinson Tejada fielding error—the backup shortstop's second of the day—he was only charged for 1 earned on 6 hits versus 6 K's and just 1 walk in 7.0 pitched.
Not exactly what we were looking for, but, hey, it happens. The Atlanta Braves continue their series with the Washington Nationals from inside Turner Field at 7:10 this evening, while the Phillies look to take two of three from the Mets tomorrow at 1:10 p.m. As it stands, Kyle Kendrick is scheduled to take on Mike Pelfrey in the rubber match. Catch you then.