FORT MYERS, Fla. — There was nothing strange, Cole Hamels said, about pitching to Shane Victorino. They were teammates for some of the best years of baseball Philadelphia has ever witnessed but business made them opponents Thursday.
In the first inning, Victorino popped out. He grounded out in the third inning. Then, in the sixth, Hamels caught Victorino looking for one of his final acts in a stellar Grapefruit League outing.
Strike three was a curveball, a nasty one at that.
"Actually, that's probably one of the best ones I've thrown in a really long time," Hamels said. "I guess I'll have to hear from him. He's obviously not used to seeing me throw that."
This was Hamels' final extended spring appearance. He has one exhibition start remaining, and it will be an abbreviated one Wednesday. Then, it's opening day in Atlanta.
Hamels was more than pleased with the action on his change-up and curveball Thursday. He allowed one run in six innings and fanned five.
"Now that we're playing more of the big-time guys, those are pitches I definitely need to have down," Hamels said. "I struggled with them early on. I'm building up the pitch count and able to work them in. I'm able to throw it like it's a game situation. I've got really good feel on it."
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