Jul 21, 2010
Cole Hamels Blog: 7/17/10
I wish I had been able to do this more because the ups and downs of Cole Hamels throughout the season make for compelling and frustrating viewing on the whole over the course of the season. Unfortunately, I have not been able to watch hardly any games in their entirety this season. It's painful living on the West Coast sometimes.
This performance was a positive, but as per the new course, he had to rely on the 2 month long impotency of the 2010 offense. Let's review his outing.
Overall Line: 7 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, ND
Results Distribution: 76 of his 111 pitches went for strikes including 18 swinging strikes. He also had an uncharacteristic 14 groundballs allowed: 7 flyballs allowed. On average, Cole Hamels's GB:FB ratio is slightly less than 1.
The umpire had a low and wide strike zone for both pitchers on this day. He was giving them 1-2 inches off the black on the outside corner against either handed hitters, reminiscent of the old "Tom Glavine" strike zone from the 1990s.
Hamels moved the ball inside and outside very well. He attacked the inner part of the plate from the start of the game with his fastball and then crossed up hitters by throwing a changeup in the same spot. There aren't many left handed batters that expect inside changeups from a lefty.
Hamels did not use his curve very much. He frankly didn't need it since his fastball and changeup were used so effectively by changing speeds and eye levels. He kept most of the Cubs hitters guessing during his outing.
The only run the Cubs scored was on a suicide squeeze; all other runners were stranded
The positive turning point in the game was the 4th inning. Aramis Ramirez led off with a walk, Marlon Byrd followed with a single after an 11 pitch at-bat. This is the point when Hamels mental struggles usually take over. Fortunately, Hamels induced Alfonso Soriano to ground into a 5-4-3 double play. His command did not recover until the next inning (he walked Soto afterwards), but no runs were scored.
This makes 7 out of 8 quality starts for Cole Hamels since he was pulled in the 1st inning on June 1st. Run support is and will continue to be an issue. The Phillies had three outs on the basepaths during the first 6 innings; that is unacceptable. Hamels has to trust in the location of his fastball and deceptiveness of his changeup to be successful; it seems he has turned a corner mentally and approach wise this month.
Until next time...