Welcome back to the land of the living, Cole.
Despite taking the “L” in yesterday’s contest against the Florida Marlins, it was more of a moral victory for Hamels, who had one of his best starts in as long as anyone can remember, in what is hopefully a step in the right direction towards becoming the Ace that he once was (and that I proclaimed him to be months ago.)
Over eight plus innings, Cole dominated The Fish. His one and only mistake in the entire game was a cutter that got a little too much of the plate in the second inning, which was promptly whanged off the foul pole by Dan Uggla.
And aside from a pair of doubles, Cole never really got into trouble, as he got better as the game went on, and was damn near untouchable in his final three innings as he set down 11 of the last hitters he faced before allowing a ninth inning single to Jorge Cantu.
As far as his repertoire, Cole predominately featured his fastball and change up, while he mixed in seven curves and nine cutters. Unsurprisingly, he had the most success with his fastball/change, but he did have a few nice curves mixed in, most notably on a caught-looking strikeout to Hanley Ramirez to end the first inning.
So, is Cole Hamels back? It’s really hard to say. I’m inclined to say yes, as his first two performances were better than his line implies, and yesterday’s start was vintage Hamels, right down to the part where the offense didn’t give him any run support.
However, much like his first two outings, it’s too early to really say for sure. If he can perform like this for the next few outings, then I’d say that our Co-Ace has arrived, and not a moment too soon, as the Phils are embarking on a nine game road trip that is going to test their mettle early in the season. They start on Tuesday with three in Atlanta to take on the pitching-heavy Braves, and finish up in San Francisco against the Giants, with a stop in Arizona for three with the Diamondbacks.
So, what’s that everyone said about facing easy teams?
- 700 Level
- Crashburn Alley
- High Cheese
- House That Glanville Built
- Philadelphia Will Do
- Philled In
- Philly Gameday
- Philly Gossip
- Phoul Ballz
- The Good Phight
- The Insider
- The Zo Zone
- Where's Weems?
- Who Does He Play For?
- Zoo With Roy