Cole Hamels deserves a lot of credit for getting up and dissecting (almost) each and every frustrating performance with the media.
Yet there isn’t very much he can say that hasn’t already been stated.
Hamels still projects a confident image. He’s been through this so many times, the lack of run support, the crazy bad breaks.
And while his defense did him no favors in Friday’s 8-5 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park, Hamels also didn’t do the job.
Forget the statistics – allowing 12 hits and seven runs (six earned) in five plus innings.
Sure there were infield hits and a broken bat hit, and balls that weren’t caught. It does seem to happen a lot when Hamels pitches, but he also made some questionable pitches that were crushed .
In Friday’s game he threw 104 pitches in five plus innings. That’s a lot of pitches, although when a team gets 12 hits, the pitch total is bound to rise.
Hamels only had three strikeouts. He didn’t walk a batter and has only issued one free pass in his last three games.
He was throwing hard, with a crisp 95 mile per hour fastball in the first inning when he retired the side.
“You realize the only thing I can control is the pitch I grip and releasing it with the execution I want and ultimately it is out of my hands,” Hamels said.
Actually, it’s not that simple.
The pitches he is releasing are getting hit fairly hard.
This is a season in which Hamels has shown some positive signs, only to be drowned out by the negative, usually in the same game.
For instance in his previous start in Washington, Hamels pitched six shutout innings but allowed five runs (three earned) in 1/3 of an inning after that.
He said after the loss to the Brewers that all his pitches were working.
Then he admitted that Jonathan Lucroy hit two hard balls off him. That would be a double and home run, two of five hits by the Brewers catcher.
Yet it’s time to stop suggesting his 1-9 record and 4.86 ERA are byproducts of bad luck. It wasn’t all luck that the Brewers had 12 hits. That was Hamels’ career high for hits allowed in a game, surpassing the 11 he surrendered three different times.
Manager Charlie Manuel, like everybody else appears out of answers, other than suggesting Hamels needs to win a game to get rolling.
“I would never have thought he would have this much trouble winning a game,” Manuel said.
The way Hamels threw during a scoreless first inning, gave an indication that he might turn things around. It turned out to be false hope.
It’s interesting that he is throwing harder than ever and getting hit harder than ever. We’ll keep suggesting more changeups. It appears as if Hamels is using his cutter too much. That was the pitch that Lucroy belted for his home run.
So maybe a change in pitch selection will help.
Something has to change and if not, we will be hearing the same explanations for the same disappointing performances.