May 11, 2010

Cole Hamels Blog: Start 7 vs. Atlanta: 5/9/10

"King Cole has returned!", the heralds had cried. He shut down the Pujols-led Cardinals in scintillating fashion, allowing 1 run in 8 innings with 8 innings and dueled with the Tim of Lincecum and bowed out in honorable fashion, K-ing 10 in 6 innings, clearly tiring under the assault of the Bay Area scion.

His fastball was a straight arrow true and to the mark to Ruiz's mitt during these performances and his change-up dived unmolested to the dirt below beneath the waving cudgel of the opponent.

Alas, this level of performance was not to repeat itself on this day against the normally-dismal hitting Braves of Atlanta (14th in the league in runs and 15th in the league in OPS).

The innings three that began the match were the time of the cruising. With 34 pitches, he dispatched the rakish 9 from Atlanta. He received duly praised assistance from the accuracy of the right arm of Jayson Werth, straight unto the mark his hurled sphere flew and whence it arrived, Omar Infante was tagged out to end the first frame.

It was during this first frame that the fastball began acting most unlike itself. It would stay up when it was called to go down and give the batters an opportunity most undeserved to send it spinning into the expansive outfield.

In the 4th inning, the time of wildness came upon Hamels. Glaus and McCann jogged to first with nary a ball attempted to be struck. Luckily, Diaz, a fellow lefty, was baffled and K'd, Conrad (Chipper's replacement) was out, and slumping McLouth was also sent back to the dugout ashamed of the three strikes.

The Phillies staked Hamels to a 4-0 lead by this point and even in wildness, he would seem to be prevail. Alas, the 5th inning came, and the wildness infected his entire being and caused the walk of the pitcher. And thus begun the great unraveling, 4 singles in succession brought home three runs for the Braves.

It was then that Hamels regained some semblance of forebearance and got the idea to dispatch of the talented catcher McCann with a K and two groundouts of Diaz and McLouth. The damage had been done to this outing however. For Hamels, had thrown 40 pitches in the 5th frame, totaling 97 over the game. He was not to return.

The bullpen did hold and the Phillies were victorious at the end, 5-3. A winner of record was he, but he must know that the preciseness of his location was his downfall. Hamels of 2008 he was not, but serviceable as a starter he will be. Until next time...