Phillies-Mets: Lost in The Drama of a Comeback, Cole Hamels Off His Game

June 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

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Just 24 hours after a thrilling series-opener, the Phillies and Mets gave us yet another sparkling performance. 

In the end, two Chase Utley home runs, a few defensive gems by Jayson Werth, and a late-game appearance by Chan Ho Park were enough to spoil the Game Two party at Citi Field.

Down 4-1 going into the seventh inning, the Phillies flair for the dramatic took over, and in the end, they were victorious, 5-4, in extra innings.

Utley slammed his 14th and 15th homers, the latter of the game-winning variety in the 11th inning as the Phils absolutely stole this one. 

With two down in the bottom of the 10th inning, Jayson Werth made that home run possibly by laying out for a would-be gap double, possibly saving the game for the Phillies.  The sure-handed right fielder has just one error this season in 427 innings on the field, with just 12 total for his entire career. 

You just knew he had that ball once he made the break.

The catch, along with the Utley bombs, also saved Cole Hamels from having to answer questions about his less-than-sparkling performance on Wednesday night. 

Coming off of his best night of the year on June 4 against Los Angeles, “Hollywood” was struggling for most of his five innings of work. 

In front of a stadium that was just 92 percent full during a huge rivalry game, he allowed four earned runs on 11 hits, while walking two Mets and striking out just one. 

That K total is his lowest this year, and the fewest he’s had in a game since May 25 of last year when he struck out nary a Brewer.  Just when you thought Hamels was about to start rolling, he takes a step backwards in an important setting.

With his wife Heidi looking on from the stands, Hamels disappointed largely due to the fact that his control was lacking.  In five innings, Hamels threw 100 pitches, 66 of them for strikes; not a bad ball/strike ratio by any means. 

However, the Mets took full advantage of him missing his spots.  

If not for the Mets inability to capitalize with runners in scoring position, this could have been a different outcome.  New York left 16 runners stranded, including 10 men stuck to second and third. 

The positive in allowing that many base runners was the damage control done by the bullpen.  Phillies relievers allowed eight runners to reach base over the final six innings, but none touched home plate.

In the scoreless first, the Mets got to Hamels early, not by scoring runs, but by jacking up his pitch count.  Hamels started off on the wrong foot and threw 20 pitches in the inning, including six foul balls. 

He again threw 20-plus in the third and fourth innings and called it a night after five.

His performance in the end kept his club in it, but Hamels was far from the pitcher they needed him to be.  You may say the Mets were fired up after Hamels called them “choke artists” this past offseason, or it could have simply just been a bad night. 

Whatever the case, Hamels needed to show up in the grandest stages.  Unable to draw from his lights out game against the Dodgers last week, his 11 hits were the most since June of last season.  

The consistency just has not been there, at a time when the pitching staff is beginning to hit their stride as a unit. As the leader of this crew, it’s important that our fair lefty sets the example at the top of the rotation. 

We have yet to see Cole locked and loaded like he was in the postseason last year.  Everyone is waiting for that pitcher to show up and stay for good.  

He also has two left-handed understudies in J.A. Happ and Antonio Bastardo, watching his every move.  Hamels is now a teacher of sorts, whether he likes it or not.

Luckily, today is a new day, and Tuesday will be a new opportunity for Hamels to succeed. He will face a decent Toronto Blue Jays offense that has scored 312 runs, the same amount as the Phillies.  It will be yet another test of will as Hamels looks to correct the mistakes he made in this big division rivalry. 



Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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