Apr 19, 2010

Cole Hamels Blog: Start 3 vs. Florida

This is the first incarnation of the Cole Hamels blog. The main reason is that these are the first innings that I have seen him pitch. Because I am on the west coast and my work has taken away my administrative rights so that I can download the updated flash player to watch mlb.tv (anyone know how to get around that by the way?), I will have to make a more diligent effort to watch the archives the next day.

I was lucky to see this version of Hamels pitch on this day in the sense that he was successful. He was locating his fastball very well on the outside part of the plate, his change-up had a low and away tailing action, and his curveball...made an appearance. I think I also detected a cutter mixed in.

The WPHL broadcast from Philadelphia really skimps on the graphics. No pitch speed, no strike zone graphics, so most of what I recorded was my own best estimation.

Inning 1: Maybin lines a single on an inside cut fastball. Ramirez strikes out on three different pitches. Hamels induces a fly out from Cantu on a full count fastball. This was a relatively low stress inning with one runner in scoring position with two outs. Fastball count: 8 Other pitches: 5

Inning 2: Uggla leads off with a HR on a high hanging for eternity curveball. That was the bad. The good was that he recovered from this and did not lose focus or control. The next three batters were retired in order. Of particular note, he got out Gaby Sanchez after falling behind 3-0. Fastball count: 6 Other pitches: 6

Inning 3: It seemed like at the outset this would be a disaster. He allowed a 2b to Robertson (the pitcher) on a 1-2 count. It has happened before where this would portend a multi-run inning for the opposition. But again, Hamels did not give in. In fact, the first thing he did was brush back Maybin when attempting to bunt; he essentially reasserted his authority with that pitch. His fastball started to miss a little in the inning, but it was still over the plate. Fastball count: 8 Other pitches: 4

Inning 4: This inning Hamels decided to go curveball heavy for some reason. It resulted in a line out, two singles, and a ground out with the 1st four batters. He made an adjustment on the 5th batter (Sanchez) and utilized his changeup for a strikeout. Fastball Count: 6 Curveball Count: 6 Change-up Count:2

Inning 5: Allowed yet another extra base hit to Maybin on a curveball. Otherwise, this is where Hamels started to roll.

Inning 6: Hamels asserted his authority with the fastball-changeup combination, getting ahead of all three hitters and setting them down in order.

Inning 7: Utley made the play of the night for the first out, scooping the bunt attempt by Baker with his glove. Hamels made short work of the next two hitters.

Innings 8 and 9: Went to my soccer game. Sorry, I was frustrated by the lack of offense.

Final Line: 8+ innings, 7 H allowed, 0 BB, and 8 K, 1 run+1 inherited runner allowed to score.

Verdict: The first great start of the year, but resulted in the first loss. Who said wins were a good measure of pitching acumen? (Whoever says "he has to pitch to the score" I will consider foolhardy)

Pre-Game Quote: “Minimizing damage is the key. It’s something I need to work on.”

Post-Game Quote: “I felt good. I just went out trying to do my best and execute my pitches. The pitch to Uggla hung a little. I’ve had a lot of success with him but it’s baseball, sometimes they get you.”

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