Phillies lefthander Cole Hamels needed 125 pitches to get through seven innings in Sunday's 11-inning, 4-3 loss to the New York Mets, but manager Ryne Sandberg wasn't concerned with the high total.
It was the second time in eight starts that Hamels has thrown at least that many pitches, although 12 of those pitches Sunday came on three intentional walks. Hamels threw a career-high 133 pitches in a 5-4 loss to the Mets on May 11.
"Cole feels great and strong and feels good," Sandberg said before Monday's game with the Mets at Citizens Bank Park.
Hamels has thrown 828 pitches in eight starts, averaging 103.5 per game, although he has not gone more than seven innings in any of them.
Sandberg had a theory on why Hamels has had some high-pitch games.
"He gets a lot of swings and misses, he gets a lot of deep counts and gets some foul balls," Sandberg said. ". . . It is not about him being out of the zone particularly, but he just gets long at-bats with guys not swinging the bat and before you know it's 5-6 pitches per hitter type of scenario and it adds up."
Phillies lefthander Cliff Lee, who was placed on the disabled list May 20 with a left elbow strain, has still not been cleared to throw.
"All you can do is hope it improves and I see improvement," Lee said.
Lee will travel with the Phillies on their six-game trip to Washington and Cincinnati.
"He is getting strength tests pretty much daily to see how he is," Sandberg said. "There is a chance [Lee's throwing] could happen on this road trip, so he will go with us."
Phillies righthander Jeff Manship, who was placed on the 15-day DL on Sunday with a strained quadriceps, said he had an MRI exam on Monday.
Manship didn't have the results but tried to remain optimistic.
"I am able to walk, so I don't think it is anything severe," he said before Monday's game.
Sandberg said that Lehigh Valley righthander Kenny Giles, owner of the 100-m.p.h. fastball, was not a consideration when the Phillies added relievers Phillippe Aumont and Cesar Jimenez on Sunday.
"His name wasn't brought up," Sandberg said.
The Phillies and Mets became the first teams to play three consecutive games of 11 or more innings since Seattle and Toronto did it on Sept. 16-18, 1991.
In their three games over the weekend, the Phillies and Mets played 39 innings totaling 14 hours, 24 minutes. Seattle and Toronto played 34 innings.